Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Leaders Uplift the Community Through Resources on Health Education and Support for Small Businesses

March 27, 2020

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2020

Media Contact: Jennifer Baik | jbaik@apiavote.org, (202) 223-9170

    Stella Hill | pr@tdwandco.com, (213) 718-7617 

 

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEADERS UNITE TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES AND CONDEMN ANTI-ASIAN SENTIMENT DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Leaders Uplift the Community Through Resources on Health Education and Support for Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, at 4PM EDT, prominent AAPI leaders gathered for a virtual press briefing to discuss the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. 

With a need for community health resources, support for small businesses, and the rise of anti-Asian sentiment, lawmakers and community advocates have been working hard to educate and protect the health and safety of all communities including the AAPI community. 

“I want to thank APIAVote and TDW+Co for hosting today’s press call to share the critical work that Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders all across the country are doing to ensure that AAPIs remain safe and healthy during this global pandemic,” said Representative Judy Chu of California’s 27th District. “Unfortunately, xenophobia has been on the rise as COVID-19 continues to spread, and there have been over 1,000 incidents of anti-Asian discrimination reported in the United States in recent weeks. It’s why I have repeatedly spoken out against xenophobia related to COVID-19 at every chance I get. And it is why CAPAC introduced a resolution led by Rep. Grace Meng to denounce harmful terms like ‘Chinese virus,’ ‘Wuhan virus,’ and ‘Kung-flu’ that perpetuate xenophobia and make Asian Americans less safe. The AAPI community must continue to stand united in our efforts to denounce anti-Asian bigotry and ensure our community remains safe from both the spread of this virus as well as the discrimination it has incited.”

“We must ensure that all Americans, regardless of immigration status, have access to treatment and testing,” said Juliet K. Choi, Executive Vice President of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. “Moreover, during this historic national emergency, it is consequentially important to get clear, accurate, and easy to follow information and instructions, in as many languages as possible, into the hands of our community and faith-based organizations, and our health care providers and emergency responders.”

"The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched health centers, and our entire health care system, beyond capacity. Racism and xenophobia targeting Asian Americans make it more difficult for health care professionals to provide care, and for families to feel safe to seek the care they need,” said Adam Carbullido, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO). “Our member health centers are rapidly implementing innovative telemedicine services to help manage COVID-19 response, all the while continuing to provide chronic care services to the most vulnerable in our society. We encourage everyone to continue to seek the care they need and to call their providers before visiting, as many have adjusted their operations to manage the crisis. Viruses don't discriminate—we must stand together to fight this global public health crisis."

“We represent 1.9 million Asian business owners who generate $700 billion annually. And we are a very, very essential community in the United States,” said Chiling Tong, President and Chief Executive Officer, Asian & Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE),We have heard the many, many sad stories and those who are small business owners just cannot survive. In this situation, anti-Asian said sentiment may have led to low turnout in Asian restaurants. Even before the shutdown in many states...We want to ensure that AAPI business impacted by COVID-19 have accurate information and guidelines to get access to disaster recovery funding when it is available in various states and cities.”

“Words matter. Names like Chinese Coronavirus and Kung-flu used by elected officials only serve to heighten racist targeting of the Asian American community and we will not stand for it,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “When reports of COVID-19 started, Asian businesses in the U.S. began losing customers and we saw a rise in Asian Americans being targeted by racists because of the rhetoric and harmful stereotypes that exist about Asian people. No amount of fear will excuse prejudice and discrimination against the Asian community.”

“During these difficult times that affect all of us, the need for the broader AAPI community to come together has never been greater,” said Gregg Orton, Executive Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). “The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans will continue to convene national AAPI community leaders while encouraging others to join in the work. We're all in this together and we're committed to finding a collaborative solution with state and local AAPI stakeholders, as well as those in the private sector.”

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) Board of Directors, along with fellow diversity associations, “denounces the escalating violence and rhetoric aimed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including journalists, amid the coronavirus outbreak.” The group added, “In this time of heightening tensions and fears, it is more important than ever that the media collectively gets it right so that we don’t give others, including politicians and the general public, an excuse to get it wrong. We also fully support and encourage journalists to continue to be vigilant in reporting the growing anti-Asian sentiment tied to the outbreak along with the rhetoric.”

“We as a country cannot afford to wait as the hatred and violence against Asian Americans escalate day by day,” said Rita Pin Ahrens, Executive Director of OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates. “What we need now is swift and decisive action from this Administration to stop the rampant harassment of our community members.” Pin Ahrens emphasized that OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates, along with over 200 advocacy organizations across the country, are “calling on President Trump to make public statements denouncing hate crimes against AAPIs and reaffirm their commitment to the safety of AAPI communities; establish via Executive Order a Task Force, with members including the FBI and Department of Justice, to investigate hate crimes against AAPIs; improve hate crimes data collection practices; improve hate crimes investigation training for law enforcement officers, and immediately cease referring to COVID-19 by ethnicity-specific terms such as ‘Chinese virus’.”

"IW Group is proud to stand in solidarity with such an extraordinary coalition of Asian American leaders and advocates. During this time of crisis, it's inspiring to see our community come together to not only address issues but also develop solutions," said Telly Wong, Campaign Director of #WashTheHate from IW Group, “#WashTheHate was launched to raise awareness about coronavirus-related discrimination and violence against our community. The support the campaign has received from Asian American leaders and advocates has been incredible. During this time of crisis, it's inspiring to see our community come together to not only address issues but also develop solutions.”

This event was co-hosted by Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and TDW+Co, and moderated by Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote. To report incidents of discrimination, please visit standagainsthatred.org (Asian Americans Advancing Justice), https://www.asianpacificpolicyandplanningcouncil.org/stop-aapi-hate/ (CAA/A3PCON), and aapihatecrimes.org (OCA-Advocates).

To see a recording of the briefing, contact Jennifer Baik of APIAVote at jbaik@apiavote.org or Stella Hill of TDW+Co at pr@tdwandco.com.

 # # #

About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See our website for more information at http://www.apiavote.org/

About TDW+Co: TDW+Co is an award-winning, full-service, community-based advertising agency with a mission to create meaningful dialogue that inspires communities to make the world better place Founded in 2004, TDW+Co is privileged to work with dedicated brand partners that share its mission including AARP, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, U.S. Bank, and the U.S. Census Bureau, serving as the official national communications and outreach partner to the Asian American communities for the 2020 Census. TDW+Co is a 100% certified minority-owned and disadvantaged business enterprise with offices in Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York. For more info, visit tdwandco.com

About Asian Americans Advancing Justice  | AAJC (AAAJ-AAJC):  Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC has a mission to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.

About The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC): The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.

About OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates: OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).

About The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO): The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) is a national nonprofit association of community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership that improves health access and outcomes for medically underserved Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

About the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF): APIAHF influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

About the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans: Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest-growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.

About Asian & Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE): ACE’s mission is to serve as a strong advocate of AAPI business interests and effect positive change on all issues that enhance and advance the goals and aspirations of AAPI business owners, entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders on a national level.  

About The Asian American Journalists Association: The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational and professional organization with more than 1,500 members across the United States and Asia. Since its founding, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry.

About IW Group: Founded in 1990, IW Group is an Asian American-owned communications agency specializing in next-generation marketing. The firm produces campaigns, programs and experiences that drive results, ignite conversations and progress culture.