NEW YORK:___ The Asian American Federation (AAF) has launched a new initiative to distribute flyers and other resources in five (5) Asian languages, in addition to English, to help Asian New Yorkers deal with a rise in anti-Asian racism amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
These safety resources teach Asian Americans how to de-escalate threatening situations and defend themselves in the event of a bias incident or hate crime. The translated flyers offer strategies intended to help individuals safely intervene if they see someone being targeted or to use verbal and/or physical methods to safely exit a charged situation. These strategies are based on trainings provided by the Center for Anti-Violence Education.
There has been a spike in bias incidents and hate crimes against Asians across New York City, out of which only 21 have been reported to the NYPD. In addition, the NYC Commission on Human Rights gathered 105 reports of bias incidents directed at Asians in the city since the COVID-19 outbreak.
AAF’s own reporting tool collected approximately 100 stories of bias incidents reported by victims and community organizations. These numbers are likely to be a fraction of the true total; almost 70% of Asians in New York City are immigrants, and Asians are among the poorest groups in the city, with one in four Asian New Yorkers living in poverty. Of the city’s Asian population, 50% have limited English proficiency. Thus, language barriers, cultural differences, fear of the police, and uncertain immigration status deter Asian Americans from reporting hate crimes to law enforcement, a fact backed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which records that almost 54% of hate crimes were not reported to police during 2011-2015.
“We undertook this project because we believe our communities are resilient. These flyers will provide our community with tools to stand up for themselves in non-violent ways. They are designed to help Asian Americans defuse conflict, de-escalate dangerous situations, and help neighbors look out for each other,” said Joo Han, AAF’s Deputy Director, who helped to spearhead the effort at the organization.
The flyers, which have been designed in bright, attractive colors, are available in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and English, and will be distributed through AAF’s 70 member and partner organizations and to the general public through social media.
Please find the flyers in five Asian languages here.