Stop Asian Hate

Anti-Asian Hate hub created to combat hate incidents and crimes against Asians

By Jun Nucum

SAN FRANCISCO — Although some major cities in the U.S., like San Francisco, have reported a drop in Asian hate incidents and crimes, reports of anti-Asian hate skyrocketing in recent years persist and measures in helping Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities respond to discrimination is deemed more crucial than ever.

One such major response measure is the creation of the Asian Resource Hub — a searchable national directory of AAPI community data, incidents of anti-Asian hate and AAPI-serving organizations offering social services, legal aid, mental health support, civic engagement and policy advocacy by the Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) that was launched February 29, 2024.

In a media briefing conducted by the Ethnic Media Services dubbed Introducing First-Ever National Asian Resource Hub– Interactive Data Narratives on Anti Asian Hate and a Service Directory, it was learned that the hub was developed by AJSOCAL and AAJC   with support of Microsoft.
The hub has a dual mission: 1) to document the surge of hatred against Asian American community through data culled from a combination of reports (surveys, hate trackers, law enforcement, and public records) and 2) to provide a searchable national directory of resources and culturally competent services that offer help in Asian languages. The website is currently translated in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.  
 Among those who shared their time to explain on this were Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California’s (AJSOCAL) Connie Chung Joe, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC’s (Advancing Justice AAJC) John C. Yang, Microsoft General Manager of Innovation and Society Merisa Heu-Weller, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL) Steven Zhang.
Joe divulged that at the height of the COVID- 19 pandemic, a community survey of anti-Asian hate in the San Gabriel Valley area of LA revealed that the majority of AAPI community members did not feel there was support for those experiencing racial discrimination and harassment.
“Over the past few years, as our community has suffered the collective trauma of the Atlanta spa shootings, the Indianapolis shooting, the back-to-back Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay shootings and so much more violence, we knew we could not wait for the next tragedy to occur without addressing this gap” through the hub,” Joe explained.
Between 2020 and 2021 alone, reported anti-Asian violence in the U.S. increased by 339%, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. Furthermore, most hate crimes and incidents are never reported.
“AJSOCAL and AAJC came together with leaders from Microsoft to create the hub not only as a culturally and linguistically accessible place for AAPI community members to turn to amid surging hatred, but as an exploration of anti-Asian hatred that uniquely combines data from FBI-reported and locally-reported hate crimes, as well as public and nonprofit sources, to bring the impact of hate on Asian populations to life through visualizations, graphics, charts, photographs, maps and pop-up text stories,” expounded  Joe.
Even where counseling and other aid did exist, many community members weren’t aware of how to find or use them due to language barriers. While the Asian Resource Hub is the first of its kind as a free national digital resource, as of this month it’s also available in Korean, Vietnamese and simplified and traditional Chinese.
Throughout 2024, Asian Resource Hub staff hope to expand its current language offerings to include translations in languages including Hindi, Teymur and Tagalog.
Heu-Weller feels that to talk about the hub is to remember what we all witnessed in 2020 and beyond, as the surge in COVID led to a surge in anti-Asian violence.
“It felt like a constant barrage of stories of Asian people being attacked verbally, physically or mentally,” mentioned Heu-Weller, General Manager of Innovation and Society at Microsoft. “Personally, as a third-generation Japanese American, the hub epitomizes my vision of using data and technology to protect fundamental human rights.”
Yang is saddened that too often, “these stories of the impact of Asian hate went untold or were not told with our communities’ perspectives in mind.”
“In the face of dramatically increased anti-Asian hate incidents since 2020, when we are seeing our elders attacked, we’re seeing our peers hurt. We’re seeing our community members afraid to walk outside. We wanted to allow people to understand our community in a different way through this directory,” Yang continued.
Zhang shared that the directory took the form of “storytelling medium to better illustrate the facts about the AAPI population and the hate they face.”
Timelines in the directory, for instance, examine key policies, events and personal narratives related to anti-Asian discrimination — from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to inflammatory rhetoric by policymakers throughout history, to more recent instances of and responses to anti-Asian hate such as pandemic-era violence, the Hate Crimes Act and Stop Asian Hate community protests in cities nationwide.
“We always make a distinction between hate crimes and hate incidents,” explained Zhang. “Because a crime is defined as a crime in the criminal statutes as an Assault or Battery, or in the worst cases, murder, many incidents we see in the Asian American community might not rise to the level of a crime in the legislative definition. However, that doesn’t minimize the impact on our community.”
“Alongside narrative data highlighting the historical impact of hate on AAPI communities across the U.S. is a national directory of community-based organizations that offer either free or low-cost direct services to support those experiencing anti-Asian discrimination,” Zhang disclosed. “Right now, about 100 organizations are listed and each one has been personally vetted by us or by one of our close partners, to make sure that it’s legitimate and active.”
Zhang stressed that they don’t want to send people down a closed door and it’s an evergreen site intended to be continually built up.
“So if you know of an AAPI resource or organization that’s missing, please nominate it, urged Zhang. “What stuck out most to me as I was working on this hub was how innovative and resilient our communities have been in the face of unspeakable hate and violence. Most hate crimes and incidents go unreported, and the hub will provide much-needed help to fill that gap during an incredibly difficult time.”