Last month, all but one U.S. Senator voted to support Sen. Mazie Hirono’s anti-Asian hate crimes bill; the bill is now headed to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote. The bill sends a "solid message of solidarity that the Senate will not be a bystander as anti-Asian violence surges in our country," said Sen. Hirono.
If it passes, the bill will create a point-person at the Justice Department who will review hate crime incidents as well as provide grants for public education campaigns.
Civic Life recently spoke to the local organization, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) about the bill. “It’s a good sign, and first step in the right direction, but we need more of a holistic and direct approach to resolve racism," said APANO Associate Director Duncan Hwang. “For example, our community is looking for the City’s help in expanding the street response in the Jade District, as well as investments in creating more safe spaces.”
Throughout the month of May, APANO will host nine virtual events for Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC). One of the events, held on Friday, May 14 at noon, is open to the public and will explore how to deepen our commitment to building a just, safe, thriving state for all communities.
Hwang encourages people to attend their programming this month and to support AAPI communities in other impactful ways: “Order take-out from restaurants and support AAPI businesses,” said Hwang. “You can also attend APANO's training Holla Back which provides tools on how to appropriately intervene when you see something happening that is negatively impacting BIPOC communities."
For more community-led events and resources, visit APANO, API Forward and Immigrant & Refugee Community Office (IRCO) as they have many resources, educational trainings, and events lined up all month.
This website, Anti-Asian Violence Resources, also provides important resources to help individuals educate others, take action, and more.