Here's How You Can Help Curb the Surge of Anti-Asian Violence

Violence against Asian-Americans has drastically increased over the past year. The incidents have been linked to racist, xenophobic rhetoric amid the pandemic.


Image via Getty/Mario Tama


In the year since the global pandemic was declared, Asian-American communities have experienced an alarming surge in discrimination and racist-fueled attacks. These incidents are largely attributed to the racist rhetoric that seeks to blame Asian-Americans for pandemic-related woes, as the novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China. 

As pointed out by TIME magazine, the NYPD reported anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 1,900 percent during the first half of 2020. U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) revealed that there were nearly 2,600 reports of anti-Asian acts from March to May across 47 states; 70 percent of those incidents were verbal harassment, 21 percent involved “shunning,” and 9 percent were physical assaults.

Last month, an 84-year-old Thai immigrant named Vicha Ratanapakdee was fatally assaulted while walking in San Francisco. Days later, a surveillance camera captured an attack on a 91-year-old man in Oakland’s Chinatown, and last week, a 64-year-old grandmother was robbed in broad daylight as she got into her car parked outside a San Jose Vietnamese market.

“There’s a clear correlation between President Trump’s incendiary comments, his insistence on using the term ‘Chinese virus’ and the subsequent hate speech spread on social media and the hate violence directed towards us,” Russell Jeung, a co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, told TIME. “It gives people license to attack us. The current spate of attacks on our elderly is part of how that rhetoric has impacted the broader population.”

In wake of the recent attacks, activists within the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities are calling on others to help combat xenophobia and anti-Asian racism. To assist with that effort, we’ve assembled a list of ways you can help curb these acts of violence as well as support those who’ve been most affected by them.

Stop AAPI Hate, an initiative launched in response to the spike in anti-Asian hate crimes, is urging the public to report incidents of discrimination and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The nonprofit has created an online form in which people can report the type of incident as well as the time and place it occurred. This tracking information will allow activists to “push for better protection, educational resources, and policies” that may one day “put an end to this.”

Stop AAPI Hate has outline its five-pronged approach:

  1. Serve as the leading aggregator of anti-Asian hate incidents

  2. Offer multilingual resources for impacted community members

  3. Provide technical assistance from rapid response to preventative measures

  4. Support community-based safety measures and restorative justice efforts

  5. Advocate for local, state, and national policies that reinforces human rights and civil rights protections

The public can also report anti-Asian incidents at Stand Against Hatred. Those in the NYC area can also report by calling 311 and asking for human rights, or by contacting the New York Attorney General at or 1-800-771-7755. Los Angeles residents can also report hate crimes by dialing 211 or visiting the LA vs. Hate website.

Contact your local Asian community center to find out ways you can help fight anti-Asian discrimination and violence. 

Jacob Azevedo, an Oakland resident of Hispanic descent, has launched the Compassion in Oakland volunteer organization that seeks to promote safety and community within the Bay Area. After learning about the attacks against elderly Asians, Azevedo took to social media offering to escort anyone who felt unsafe traveling in the neighborhood. Since then, hundreds of people have followed his lead.

“I wasn’t intending to be some kind of vigilante,” he told CNN. “I just wanted to offer people some kind of comfort … This is important because this community just needs healing. There’s a lot of racial tensions going on because of the previous president’s rhetoric but in general our communities need healing. This is an issue that’s been ongoing for a while.”

The Oakland Chinatown Coalition is also seeking volunteers for its Community Strolling program, which aims to build relationships with communuty members and visitors as well as clean up trash around the area. You can access the sign-up form here.

New York City’s Heart of Dinner has launched a grassroots initiative called #EnoughIsEnough. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the recent string of anti-Asian attacks, as well as provide meals for Asian-American, Black, and Latino communities. Those in the NYC area can get involved in a number of ways, whether it’s delivering meals, helping with marketing, or writing notes for care packages.

A number of retailers and brands have launched initiatives to help the Asian-American community. The founders of Haerfest have released a minimalist collection called “Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes,” which aims to raise awareness about the anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination. All proceeds from the first production of the collection’s T-shirts will go toward Stop AAPI Hate.

“Change starts from within and through the actions of empowered individuals who believe that we can be the change we hope to see in the world,” the brand’s website reads. “As two proud Asian Americans taking action to create change, we ask you to join us and use the power of your voices to spread more awareness to your communities, educating those who are unaware of what’s happening and spread vetted researched information.”

Other brands that have launched similar campaigns include Asian American Girl ClubAlumni of NY, and Kae Linh’s .

There’s a long list of nonprofits dedicated to supporting, empowering, and serving the AAIP communities. In addition to donating your time to these causes, you can show your support through much-needed monetary contributions. We’ve listed a few notable organizations below.

Mekong NYC: A Bronx-based coalition working to improve the lives of NYC’s Southeast Asian community.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice: One of the country’s largest legal advocacy groups committed to protecting the civil rights of Asian-Americans.

CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities: A pan-Asian community nonprofit that supports poor, working class Asian immigrants and refugees.

Womankind: Formerly known as the New York Asian Women’s Center, this organization provides services and resources to survivors of abuse, with an emphasis on assisting those within the Asian community.

Apicha CHC: A community health center that provides medical services to underserved communities, including AAIPs, Blacks, and Latinos.

Apex for Youth: An education-based organization that seeks to empower Asian-American youth through mentorship programs.

An easy and effective way to support the AAIP community is by helping spread awareness online. Social media users are encouraged to share articles about instances of anti-AAIP discrimination and violence, as well as use hashtags like #HateIsaVirus and #TheyCantBurnUsAll; the latter of which aims to unite Asian communities and allies to fight against racism and hate crimes.

You can also sign petitions that seek to raise awareness and end the attacks on Asian-Americans. The petition Stop Hate Against Asian Americans calls on mainstream media outlets to amplify coverage of the recent rise in racially motivated assaults. End Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans urges New York law enforcement and elected officials to sufficiently address the violent crimes against the AAIP communities. The petition demands thorough investigations of the incidents under the hate crime designation.

Latest in Life