6 easy ways to be an ally to Canada’s Asian community

Mar 18 2021, 2:52 pm

With the current rise in hate crimes towards Asian-Canadians, 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 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-Canadian 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 do much beyond that. In addition to spreading awareness, try following Instagram accounts that centre around the North American Asian community. Through these accounts, you can continue to learn about what’s happening and how to get involved. Some of the accounts we like include @nextshark, @dearasianyouth @thepeahceproject, @asiansformentalhealth, and @asiangirlsunited.

Donate

Consider donating to organizations that help the Asian community. The Asian Canadian Benevolent Association For The Elderly helps vulnerable Asian seniors in Canada. There is an Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Fund GoFundMe 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,Canadian Society for Asian Arts, and the Chinatown Foundation.

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 Asians in North America — 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 pre-register online.

Alyssa TherrienAlyssa Therrien

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