Act To Change Applauds Passage of COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act 

May 20, 2021


Act To Change Applauds Passage of COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act 


Today, President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law, after bipartisan passage in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Act To Change applauds the swift passage of this bill, especially with the rise in hate incidents against Asian American communities. 


Stop AAPI Hate has had more than 6,600 incident reports since March 2020. And we know this is an undercount. Stop AAPI Hate’s online reporting tool in multiple Asian languages begins to fill a large gap in reporting and tracking for AAPI hate; however, it is time for the federal government to take leadership and invest resources in our communities. 


The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is a positive step forward in requiring state and local law enforcement agencies to establish online reporting, accessible in multiple AAPI languages, and to take affirmative steps to expand culturally competent and linguistically appropriate public education campaigns. 


However, the work is far from over. We continue to remain committed to ending bullying among AAPI youth, through understanding and educating the public of the systems of white supremacy and oppression that stymy any progress in civil rights for all marginalized communities.


Commemorating the 2021 National Asian American and Pacific Islander Day Against Bullying and Hate


Commemorating the 2021 National Asian American and Pacific Islander Day Against Bullying and Hate

With rise in anti-Asian hate, 40+ cities and states, 250+ organizations, corporations, celebrities, and community leaders unite for national commemoration to honor legacy of Vincent Chin and promote action, healing, and solidarity


Today, May 18, 2021 marks the third annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) National Day Against Bullying and Hate, led by Act To Change. AAPIs have long faced violence, hate, and bullying, and now the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked rising and unprecedented numbers of anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination. 


In recognition of the third annual National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, actor, author, and Act To Change co-founder Maulik Pancholy issued the following statement:


“It’s critical now more than ever that we protect and empower our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. As anti-Asian hate crimes, xenophobia, and racism are reported at unprecedented and rising numbers, we must remain united and fight against all forms of bullying and hate. Today, Act To Change urgently calls on all leaders and individuals across the country to stand with us on this annual National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, honor the legacy of Vincent Chin, and advocate for a world free of bullying and hate.”


National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate is observed during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and on May 18, the birthday of Vincent Chin, who was murdered in an anti-Asian hate crime in 1982. This year would have been his 66th birthday.


Major companies are joining Act To Change to mark this day, including Netflix, TikTok, Sephora, Facebook, and Yahoo. 


Today, Act To Change also released its first Asian American Bullying Report, in partnership with NextShark and Admerasia, to reveal new groundbreaking data on the bullying realities that Asian American youth are facing. Responses were collected from more than 300 Asian American youth, and found that 80 percent have experienced bullying. Seventy percent of Asian American youth saw a rise in cyberbullying during Covid-19. 


Nearly 30 influencers and community leaders participated in the May 18 virtual event UNITED WE STAND


The more than 40 participating cities and states in the National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate include:

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Seattle, WA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boston, MA
  • Washington, DC
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • State of Arizona
  • State of California
  • State of Hawaii
  • State of Louisiana


The over 250 participating community organizations include

  • Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment
  • Angry Asian Man
  • Arab American Institute
  • Asian American News
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
  • Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
  • Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment
  • Center for Disability Rights
  • Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
  • Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
  • Define American
  • Girls Inc.
  • Gold House
  • Hollaback!
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • League of United Latin American Citizens
  • Micronesian Islander Community
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
  • NYC Anti-Violence Project
  • OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
  • The Sikh Coalition
  • Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
  • STOMP Out Bullying
  • Stop AAPI Hate
  • Teach For America
  • The Trevor Project
  • Tyler Clementi Foundation


According to Stop AAPI Hate, nearly 6,600 anti-Asian racist incidents were reported since May 2020, a significant increase from 3,795 to 6,603 during March 2021. The center noted that women reported 2.3 times more than men, youth reported 12.6% of incidents, and seniors reported 6.2% of the total incidents. Incident reports have come from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono and Representative Grace Meng, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Bill has passed both the Senate and the House, and is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden soon. The legislation would instruct the Department of Justice to expedite review of COVID-19 related hate crimes, expand public reporting efforts, and provide guidance to make reporting hate crimes more accessible at the local and state level, including ensuring reporting processes are available in multiple languages.


To join the conversation on social media, use #DayAgainstBullying and #ActToChange. 







May 18, 2021




Act To Change, NextShark, and Admerasia release bullying report revealing surge in bullying during COVID-19 pandemic

Today, national anti-bullying nonprofit Act To Change, in partnership with Asian American news outlet NextShark and advertising agency Admerasia, has released the 2021 Asian American Bullying Survey Report that measures the impact of bullying, awareness, and prevention measures in the Asian American community. 


This report is released on the third annual National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, led by Act To Change, bringing together more than 40 cities and states, 300 community organizations, and dozens of elected officials and influencers to stand against bullying and hate in the AAPI community.


Survey findings highlight a dramatic rise in bullying in 2020 among Asian American youth. For many Asian American youth, many are less likely to report bullying incidences or have access to resources. Key observations from the study include:

  • The bullying of Asian American youth is astonishingly normalized. 80% of Asian Americans have experienced bullying, in-person, or online. 
  • Cyberbullying affecting Asian Americans in 2020, exacerbated by COVID-19, surged. 70% of Asian American youth experienced or witnessed an increase in cyberbullying in 2020.
  • Asian Americans are significantly less likely to report bullying to an adult than their peers are, potentially due to cultural barriers and lack of trust in adults and schools. 38% of Asian Americans told an adult about the bullying, compared to 63% of non-Asian Americans. 
  • Parents, caregivers, and educators of Asian American youth lack the necessary knowledge or tools to handle and fight the bullying. Only 50% of adults took action after learning someone was bullied.

The survey was based on responses by more than 300 Asian American youth. 


To prevent and tackle bullying among youth, particularly with the rise of anti-Asian hate, Act To Change and partners recommend action in the following areas: 


  • Spreading awareness and educating the public about the prevalence, severity, and impact of anti-Asian bullying on students, and call for change.
  • Developing easily shareable and accessible resources/toolkits and school curriculums for Asian American children/teens, their caregivers and parents.
  • Crafting programs that provide mental health and consultation services for bullied Asian American children who need help. 
  • Continuing the much-needed work in data collection and data disaggregation for Asian Americans. Comprehensive data is critical to representing the vast diversity of experiences in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Act To Change is a national nonprofit organization working to end bullying among AAPI youth. It envisions a world where all youth can grow up feeling proud of and supported in who they are. 

Admerasia, founded in 1993, is an American advertising agency that has played a critical role in developing technologies to aid Asian American communities and businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NextShark, founded in 2013, is a leading source of Asian American news and culture reaching 15 million people per week on social media. They have been on the forefront of reporting how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Asian communities and businesses around the globe, sharing community initiatives for recovery, and promoting minority community solidarity against racial injustice.

Act To Change Launches Anti-Bullying Workshop Series and Virtual School Visits With TV Personality Tan France

For Immediate Release

December 2, 2020


Act To Change, a national nonprofit organization working to address bullying among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth, is hosting its first series of Homeroom x Tan France, anti-bullying workshops and virtual school visits with TV personality Tan France. After the COVID-19 pandemic led to a sharp spike in cases of bullying and racism against the AAPI community, Act To Change created this initiative to increase awareness of bullying prevention and teach kids to become active anti-bullying advocates in their schools.


AAPI youth face bullying for a number of reasons, and unique cultural, religious, and language barriers can keep them from getting help. Misinformation around the spread of the COVID-19 virus, coupled with inflammatory political rhetoric, exacerbated bullying experienced by AAPI youth this year. Within three months, over 2000 cases of anti-Asian hate, violence and discrimination were reported to Stop AAPI Hate.


“Bullying is a universal problem. Kids who are perceived as ‘different’ are often ridiculed and targeted by their peers,” said Tan France. “Through our Homeroom series, Act To Change aims to ensure that kids have the resources they need to be advocates against bullying within their schools and communities. Teaching our youth to be strong and vocal about this issue from a young age is crucial in keeping them safe.”


France joined the Act To Change Advisory Council in July 2020, and was among many AAPI leaders who joined United We Stand, a virtual event hosted by the organization to mark the second annual AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate in May 2020.


Nominations for 6-12th grade schools were collected for the Homeroom workshops, and ten schools have been selected for the first round of workshops. Seven students and one faculty member from each school will participate in the workshop led by Tan France. The selected schools are:


  • Ambassador School of Global Leadership , Los Angeles, CA
  • Andrew P. Hill High School, San Jose, CA
  • Brighton High School, Brighton, CO
  • Da Vinci RISE High School, Los Angeles, CA
  • DreamHouse Ewa Beach, Kalaeloa, HI
  • The Head-Royce School, Oakland, CA
  • Inglemoor High School, Kenmore, WA
  • Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy, Kansas City, MO
  • Salt Lake Center for Science Education, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Uplift Heights Secondary Preparatory, Dallas, TX


Following the workshop, all schools will hold a virtual or in-person assembly focused on bullying prevention, and take on two or more of the following actions within this school year:


  • Gather books highlighting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)  experiences from the school library and display it in a public location (virtually or in-person)
  • Include a BIPOC book in its curriculum
  • Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
  • Host a faculty meeting surrounding the question: “What can our school do to prevent bullying and racism?”

During National Bullying Prevention Month in October, Act To Change held its Youth Rising conference, where France previewed the Homeroom series in a panel with student representatives from several of the selected schools.



Homeroom x Tan France is one of the several ways Act To Change has responded to the rise in xenophobia, and the organization plans to host multiple rounds of Homeroom series going into 2021.


Through the generous support of HarperCollins and Macmillan Publishers, Act To Change will provide each school a shelf of books written by BIPOC authors as part of the Homeroom series.

Act To Change is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to address bullying, including in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.


Join Us for AAPI Day Against Bullying+Hate

Join us for a nationwide recognition of the 2nd annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying + Hate on May 18.

Act To Change is rallying the nation — including cities, elected officials, influencers, and community organizations — around the second annual AAPI Day Against Bullying+Hate on May 18, 2020.

With bullying, discrimination, and hate crimes against Asian Americans on the rise during Covid-19, it’s more important now than ever that we stand up to xenophobia and racism. Act To Change’s day-of virtual program, UNITED WE STAND, will commemorate this day with special guests and performances.

Moderated by Maulik Pancholy, Actor, Author, & Co-Founder of Act To Change.

Special guests include:

  • Tan France, TV Personality
  • Lisa Ling, Journalist
  • John Cho, Actor
  • Padma Lakshmi, Food Expert & Author
  • Kal Penn, Actor, Producer & former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement
  • Randall Park, Actor, Writer & Producer
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray
  • Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder, Define American
  • Helen Zia, Author/Activist
  • Poorna Jagannathan, Actor, Netflix’s Never Have I Ever
  • Hudson Yang, Actor, Fresh Off the Boat
  • Celia Au and Lawrence Kao, Actors, Wu Assassins
  • Punam Patel, Actor, Netflix’s SPECIAL
  • Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06)
  • Bing Chen, Chairman, Gold House & General Partner, AUM Group
  • Michelle Lee, Editor in Chief, Allure

…and more!

More details at

“I am a Queer Vietnamese American, But Not Always in that Order”

By Viet Tran 

Originally published on the Human Rights Campaign blog.

The diversity of our nation is what makes us stronger and more connected, and immigrants are a part of the beautiful fabric of this country. Throughout history, immigrants have enriched the foundation and culture of the U.S. with our resilient narratives, colorful traditions, and innovative contributions. This Immigrant Heritage Month, let’s celebrate immigrants, their journey and stories.

As a queer Vietnamese immigrant and the child of refugees, during Pride Month and Immigrant Heritage Month I recognize that I am a queer Vietnamese American, but not always necessarily in that order.

The Vietnamese diaspora carries a heavy history marked by war-torn stories, unspoken trauma and unfamiliar transitions in new homes and customs across the globe. My own story starts with my parents.

After the fall of Saigon in 1975, my father was incarcerated in so-called “re-education camps.” My mother, the only daughter out of seven children, worked to support her family while also pursuing education. She eventually became one of Saigon’s most respected educators and teachers.

It was in the early 1990s when my parents sought asylum to the U.S. However, after enduring years of austere conditions and trauma in the incarceration camps, my father would not make the trip abroad with my mother and me.

They named me “Tran Hoai Viet,” after my father, but my name also translated to “Eternally Vietnam” — a powerful reminder to always remember the country we left.

Immigrant, Vietnamese, Viet Tran, queer

Though I was born abroad, I grew up in the U.S. and, like many other immigrants and first-generation folks, I struggle to navigate and reconcile my Vietnamese roots and my American upbringing.

When I first came out as gay, I was afraid of the ways it would further complicate my multiple identities and two distinct cultures and traditions.

To me, being a queer Vietnamese immigrant means that my coming out experience is a lifelong and ongoing process and oftentimes a two-front battle. In 2008, I came out to my friends in English. In 2018, I came out to my mom — yet this second time was entirely in Vietnamese. It was important to me to come out to my immigrant mother in a language that she understood best.

Heavy cultural expectations and language barriers made my coming out process even more challenging as someone who was navigating at the intersections of being queer, Vietnamese, American and an immigrant.

Many LGBTQ API immigrants will often share similar experiences and challenges. Many of us are at the cusp of two hemispheres, two generations, two tongues and, in many cases, two lives. The process to reconcile our multiple identities and experiences sometimes extends a lifetime.

As I honor Immigrant Heritage Month and my own story, I recognize that there is still a need for more representation and visibility across the spectrum. This Immigrant Heritage Month and Pride Month, I encourage you to explore your own heritage and history, honor the contributions of your communities and share your story to take on the challenges that we still face today.

For more information about the unique experiences of LGBTQ API youth in the U.S., click here. To read more about navigating the intersectional experience of coming out as LGBTQ for API people, click here.

#ActToChange During Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Among those who have taken the #ActToChange pledge are: Forrest Wheeler, actor (ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat); Hudson Yang, actor (ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat); Albert Tsai, actor (ABC’s Dr. Ken); Parvesh Cheena, actor/comedian (My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend); Jon Jon Briones, actor/singer (Miss Saigon); Ai Goeku Cheung, actor/singer (Miss Saigon); Deedee Magno Hall, actor/singer (Steven Universe, Miss Saigon); DAN aka DAN, alternative hip hop artist; The Filharmonic, a capella sensation (Pitch Perfect 2 and NBC’s Sing Off); Jennie Kwan, actor/singer (Avenue Q, Avatar: The Last Airbender); Megan Lee, actor/singer (Nickelodeon’s Make it Pop); The Poreotics (MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew); AJ Rafael, singer/songwriter, YouTube star; SETI X, rapper; Beau Sia, Tony Award-winning spoken word artist (Def Poetry Jam); Sam Futerman, actor/filmmaker (Twinsters); Perry & Danielle, singing duo; Minji Chang, Kollaboration Executive Director/actor; Mike Bow, actor (The Maze Runner, Comfort); Matt Almodiel, singer; and Lance Lim, actor (Independence Day, School of Rock).


This week during Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, join #ActToChange and take a stand against bullying!

One year ago, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, in partnership with the Sikh Coalition and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), launched the #ActToChange public awareness campaign to address bullying, including in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Backed by a diverse coalition of now more than 60 supporters including media platforms and national organizations, #ActToChange aims to empower AAPI youth, educators, and communities with information and tools to address and prevent bullying. Check out, which features video and music empowerment playlists, translated resources, an organizing toolkit, and more!

This week, join us in spreading the word about #ActToChange:


(1) Take the pledge against bullying



(2) And share this special-edition badge on social media using #ActToChange


Join the movement by visiting

6 Month Anniversary: The #ActToChange Movement Against Bullying


YouTube stars AJ Rafael, Timothy DeLaGhetto, and Travis Atreo; rapper MC Jin; The Voice’s Dia Frampton; and American Idol’s Andrew Garcia are among many who have taken the #ActToChange pledge against bullying.

Six months ago today, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in partnership with the Sikh Coalition and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) launched the #ActToChange public awareness campaign to address bullying, including in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Backed by a diverse coalition of now more than 60 supporters, including media platforms and national organizations, #ActToChange aims to empower AAPI youth, educators, and communities with information and tools to address and prevent bullying. Check out, which features video and music empowerment playlists, translated resources, an organizing toolkit and more!

Today, join us on #ActToChange’s six-month anniversary:

  1. Take the pledge against bullyingPicture1
  2. And share this special-edition badge on social media using #ActToChange.FinalPublic


The program is booked for our #ActToChange Live Event on Saturday, November 21, 2015!
Join us, OCA, Sikh Coalition, CAPE, and 200 of your nearest, dearest, and newest friends for thoughtful discussions, lively performances, and shared stories around the important topic of bullying prevention – with an emphasis on AAPI communities and cultures.