On March 16, 2021, eight people were killed in a mass shooting in Atlanta, six of whom were Asian women. This incident cannot be separated from the rise in acts of hatred against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, women in particular.
YWCA condemns this violence in the strongest possible way, and stands in solidarity with the AAPI community and the victims and families of those experiencing anti-Asian racism and violence. YWCA stands against racism for people of all races, origins, and ethnicities, and we are dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for ALL.
In the year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an increase in reports nationwide to Stop AAPI Hate. Asian women made up a far higher share of reports, at 68 percent, and reported hate incidents 2.3 times more than Asian men.
Violence against the AAPI community and Asian immigrants has long existed in the U.S., and the racism and misogyny that underlie this tragedy are deeply rooted in our history. This week illustrated that we have a long way to go in the fight against racism and gender inequality.
For over 126 years, YWCA has worked to dismantle systemic racism through programs that tackle discrimination in all its forms. Every day we get up and do the work to help end violence against women and stand against racism, but we can’t do it alone.
We must work together to fight for justice, because the future deserves all of us. It’s time for all of us to step up to our roles in dismantling racism and misogyny. The time to act is here and now – and meaningful progress requires each of us.
We can no longer delay taking action, and silence is not an option. We must lead conversations and do our part to drive long-term solutions that address the root causes of inequity. We must uplift the voices of AAPI and Asian women in these conversations, center their experiences, and celebrate their stories.
Below are a few links to learn about the ways you can stand against anti-Asian racism and support AAPI women in the community.
- Asian American Women Are Resilient — and We Are Not OK | by My Tam H. Nguyen | Medium
“This current moment of hate in America is another opportunity for intersectionality: our struggles are intertwined — any form of hate or oppression impacts the well-being and health of our democracy, and we must continue to fight for it.”
- 15 books to read to learn more about Asian American history and experiences, in Seattle and elsewhere | The Seattle Times
- Community Rapid Response to Anti-Asian Violence by Asian Americans Advancing Justice
- Anti-Asian Violence Resources
- National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, Condemn Violence Against Asian Women
- Seattle Works, How to be an Ally series
CEO of YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish
Maria Chavez-Wilcox is the Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. She is the organization's first Latina CEO and has over thirty years of experience as a nonprofit executive, social services advocate, community leader, and philanthropist
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