6 easy ways to be an ally to the Asian American community

Mar 18 2021, 1:39 pm

With the current rise in hate crimes towards Asian Americans, you may be wondering how best to help those in the community.

First of all, the fact that you even clicked into this article is a positive step. Yes, you can pat yourself on the back for that one.

Your sharing of an infographic about Asian hate crimes, though, isn’t doing enough. And before you ask, this article was written by an Asian American who currently fears for her grandmother, her parents, and the community in general.

Here are six easy ways to be a great ally to those in the Asian American community:

Use social media as a tool 

The fact that you’ve shared a post does help spread awareness that anti-Asian hate crimes are happening, but your quick and painless share doesn’t really mean much. In addition to spreading awareness, try following Instagram accounts that center around the Asian American community. Through these accounts, you can continue to learn about what’s happening and how to get involved. Several accounts that we like are @nextshark, @dearasianyouth @thepeahceproject, @asiansformentalhealth, and @asiangirlsunited.

Donate

Consider donating to organizations that help the Asian American community. Heart of Dinner provides meals for elderly Asian Americans. There is an Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Fund Go Fund Me currently set up to help those being affected by the surge in racism and violence. Additional places you may consider donating to include the Asian Mental Health Collective, Apex For Youth, Seattle Chinese New Immigrants Center, and the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon.

Shop and eat at Asian-owned spots

Before ordering in from a huge chain, ask yourself if there’s a local, Asian-owned alternative. If you’re looking for some sushi, maybe go somewhere Japanese-owned. In addition, shop at Asian grocery stores and retailers  where and when you can.

Educate yourself 

Besides taking a free university course about Asian American culture — there are SO many out there — you can learn by talking to your friends and those around you. Ask your Asian friends about their experiences and if there’s anything they’d like you to know or become more educated about. Seek knowledge from reputable publications on the internet to understand the history of discrimination against the community.

Check on your Asian friends

Along with asking your friends about their experiences, make sure they’re okay. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to make them feel safer. And if you’ve ever done anything that could’ve come off as offensive towards them, work to understand their perspective. We’re not calling you racist; we’re aware of microaggressions, that while seemingly innocent, can surely rub people the wrong way.

Enroll in bystander intervention training

You read that right. Bystander intervention training teaches the public how to stop harassment as a bystander. Hollaback! along with Asian Americans Advancing Justice, have teamed up to offer hour-long Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian American Harassment and Xenophobia workshops. Those interested in training must preregister online.

Alyssa TherrienAlyssa Therrien

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