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Act to Change News, Features, and Events

As Anti-Asian Bullying and Hate Continues, Act To Change Strengthens Alliances with Hollywood, Journalism, and Business

TV stars Tan France and Hudson Yang and powerhouses Michelle Lee, Bing Chen, and Philip Chung join Anti-Bullying Nonprofit’s Advisory Council

As COVID-19 infections continue to rise in the United States, so have reports of racist attacks against people of Asian descent. At this critical time, anti-bullying nonprofit Act To Change is pleased to announce an expansion to its Advisory Council, forging stronger ties to Hollywood, journalism, and business with new members:

  • Tan France, TV Personality
  • Hudson Yang, Actor (Fresh Off the Boat)
  • Michelle Lee, Editor in Chief, Allure
  • Bing Chen, Chairman, Gold House & General Partner, AUM Group
  • Philip W. Chung, Creative Director, YOMYOMF

Act To Change, which became a nonprofit in 2018, aims to end bullying in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. It is co-founded by actor, activist, and children’s book author (The Best At It) Maulik Pancholy. Act To Change originally launched as a public awareness campaign from President Obama’s White House Initiative on AAPIs. 

“We are so honored to have this slate of all-stars join Act To Change’s Advisory Council,” says Pancholy. “Each new member brings unique value and tremendous passion to the organization, and we look forward to working together to continue our movement to ensure all Asian American and Pacific Islander youth feel safe and proud of who they are.”

All of the newest Advisory Council members actively participated in Act To Change’s recent AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate on May 18, which garnered participation from more than a dozen cities and nearly 200 organizations throughout the country. The day commemorated Vincent Chin’s birthday and called for communities to take a stand against bullying and hate.

To provide support for AAPI students, caregivers, and educators during the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes amid COVID-19, Act To Change launched its COVID-19 Convos series in the spring. In June, Act To Change hosted Solidarity Convos to discuss how AAPIs can support the Black Live Matter movement and Pride Convos to explore intersectional identities and the connection between Pride Month and Black Lives Matter. 

Act To Change continues to collaborate with celebrities, research groups, and leaders across all sectors to grow awareness about the need for bullying prevention. 

More on the new Advisory Council members:
  • Tan France has been a successful fashion designer behind-the-scenes for over 15 years and became a breakout star following the launch of the Emmy-winning reboot of the reality makeover series “Queer Eye” in 2018. 
  • Hudson Yang, named by Variety, The Wrap and other publications as a rising star to watch in young Hollywood, spent six years as irrepressible protagonist Eddie on ABC’s historic Asian American family sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat”. 
  • Michelle Lee is the Editor in Chief of Allure. Since taking the helm in 2015, Lee has been committed to championing diversity and expanding the definition of beauty.
  • Bing Chen is an entrepreneur, creator, and an equalization builder. He is Chairman and Co-founder of Gold House, the largest collective of pioneering leaders dedicated to forging stronger bonds that enhance Asian representation and success. He is also General Partner and Co-founder of AUM Group, a multicultural film fund. 
  • Philip W. Chung oversees the creative content for YOMYOMF, director Justin Lin’s (Star Trek Beyond, Fast & Furious franchise) Asian American-centric digital company, and has worked in various capacities in film, TV, theater and digital. 

First Lady Jill Biden to Address Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Youth at Changemakers Summit 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

October 22, 2021

 

PRESS CONTACT:

Devon Cruz

devon@firesidecampaigns.com

 

RELEASE: First Lady Jill Biden to Address Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Youth at Changemakers Summit 2021

 

WASHINGTON DC—Today, Act To Change, Hate Is A Virus, and Stop AAPI Hate announced that Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States, will provide special remarks at their inaugural Changemakers Summit 2021 this Saturday, October 23 from 10am-3pm PST / 1-6pm EST. The Summit seeks to empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) youth, educators, and activists. Targeting 12-24 year old youth, the Summit will provide resources and guidance to help develop them into the next generation of leaders in the AANHPI community. 

 

On the Summit and efforts to end bullying and racism against the AANHPI community, Dr. Jill Biden said:

 

To the students, educators, and community leaders at this year’s Changemakers Summit. You represent the best of who we are as Americans. Through your courage and vision, you are preparing our nation’s next generation of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander leaders. It matters. 

 

Especially as we emerge from a pandemic that has been so difficult on our country and the AANHPI community in particular. In addition to the loss of life, we’ve experienced a rise in hate and xenophobia. Too many of you have experienced the taunts, the looks, the physical and emotional distress that comes everyday online, in our schools, and just walking the streets of America. 

 

Our President often says, ‘We must not be silent. We have to speak out. We have to act.’ We will act. We are committed to fighting hate crimes and bullying in all its forms. We stand united against racism. We stand united for justice and equality. And we stand united in the belief that every child deserves to grow up proud of who they are. And that’s why today’s summit is so important as you educate, empower, and celebrate all the young people who will be true changemakers for generations to come.” 

 

Other speakers for the event include actors, writers, filmmakers, and activists such as:

 

  • Helen Zia, author and activist
  • Maulik Pancholy, actor, author and co-founder of Act To Change
  • Amanda Nguyen, activist, founder of Rise
  • Versha Sharma, Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue
  • May Lee, journalist, author, professor
  • Ashlyn So, fashion designer, youth activist
  • Kapulei Flores, photographer, activist
  • Ryan Alexander Holmes, actor, content creator & activist
  • Rachel Leyco, filmmaker, actress, and activist 
  • And more to be announced. 

 

The Summit and support of these activists come after a year of increased anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination, fueled by COVID-19 misinformation and scapegoating. By joining the Summit, our speakers are investing their social influence behind the fight to end racism, bullying, and discrimination against AANHPI communities.

 

Click here to learn more about the Changemakers Summit 2021. 

Bullying Prevention Month 2021: Protecting AAPI Youth from Hate

Act To Change, in partnership with Stop AAPI Hate, hosted Data Convos: 2021 AAPI Youth Experience with Bullying and Hate to highlight some findings from our research on how the pandemic and the ensuing xenophobia affected AAPI youth.

To mark Bullying Prevention Month 2021, we’re recapping this crucial discussion and sharing our recommendations for building a world with bullying.

Join our other Bullying Prevention Month initiatives: the Changemakers Summit on 10/23 and the Youth Ambassador Program for youth in NYC, Oakland and Chicago.

Act to Change 2021 Asian American Bullying Survey Report

The 2021 Asian American Bullying Survey Report is a product of a partnership between Act To Change, ADMERASIA, and NextShark in order to better understand how Asian American students are experiencing bullying, especially in light of the rise in AAPI hate crimes due to COVID-19. We had respondents from a wide range of ethnicities including Chinese, Asian Indian, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese participate, with the majority of our respondents identifying as female and almost half of our respondents being in the 14 to 18 age range.

We know that bullying is rampant among the survey respondents – over 80% of Asian American respondents had experienced bullying – due to various factors from physical appearance, accent, cultural habits, financial status, and origin. Furthermore, cyberbullying surged in 2020. This is bullying that takes place digitally or through the phone, where many youth spend their time – 70% of respondents experienced or witnessed more cyberbullying last year.

Unfortunately, Asian Americans are less likely to report bullying to adults than non-Asian Americans – Non-Asians are about 1.5x more likely to tell an adult about bullying compared to Asian Americans.

And not only that, adults (such as caregivers, parents, educators) lack the skills, knowledge, and conviction to take action – about one-third of adults did not take action when a youth told them about a bullying incident.

Stop AAPI Hate Youth Campaign Report

In the summer of 2020, the Stop AAPI Hate Youth Campaign (“the Youth Campaign”) interviewed 990 AAPI young adults across the United States about their experiences and feelings related to racism during the COVID–19 pandemic. Findings included:

  • About 8 out of 10 AAPI youth (77%) express anger over the current anti–Asian hate in this nation, and 6 out of 10 (60%) also express disappointment over racism.
  • AAPI youth who experienced racism first hand were more likely to be concerned about their family (30%) and saddened (30%) than their peers who didn’t.
  • Harassment focused on blaming China and Chinese people as the source of the virus and on mocking Chinese dietary habits.
  • AAPI youth care deeply about anti–Asian hate because they believe any form of racism is wrong (34%) and that blaming one group for COVID–19 is incorrect (30%).

Findings and Steps Toward Change

Based on the findings from our reports, the data suggests that bullying and racism directed at Asian American youth are normalized in our society. This normalization imposes a vicious impact on the development of self-confidence and mental health for Asian American youth by weakening their willingness to report the case or seek help from adults and educators.

It’s also important to implement Ethnic Studies throughout secondary school curricula so that secondary school students learn about histories of different U.S. communities, the roots and impacts of racism, and movements that have sought racial justice. Furthermore, providing anti–bullying training for teachers and administrators that would include practices of social–emotional learning along with training students and adults in restorative justice practices can begin to replace zero–tolerance approaches that have proven ineffective. For victims of online harassment, provide accessible and anonymous reporting sites (similar to that of Stop AAPI Hate) on social media platforms. We should also strive to support AAPI student affinity groups and their school safety and anti–racism campaigns.

Meanwhile, many parents of Asian American youth and school educators are not necessarily equipped with the knowledge needed to address the bullying cases or provide improvement solutions. It is time to address the issue through collective efforts from different entities in society. We call for help from corporate brands, policymakers and community organizations that have the right resources. Through awareness, resources, programs, data collection and disaggregation, we can help put an end to bullying and racism.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 29, 2021

 

PRESS CONTACT:

Devon Cruz

devon@firesidecampaigns.com

 

PRESS RELEASE: TV Personality Tan France and Act To Change Launch Second Anti-Bullying Workshop Series and Virtual School Visits

80% of Asian American students experience bullying, and ongoing education series with Tan France aims to combat that

 

WASHINGTON — Act To Change, a national nonprofit organization working to end bullying among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth, is hosting its second series of Homeroom with Tan France, anti-bullying workshops and virtual school visits with TV personality Tan France that began last December. 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.

 

Since March 2020, Stop AAPI Hate has had more than 6,600 incident reports, and we know this is an undercount. Misinformation around the spread of the COVID-19 virus, inflammatory racist rhetoric and exacerbated bullying experienced by AAPI youth both this year and last year led to increased incidents across the country. Act To Change’s 2021 Asian American Bullying Survey found that 80% of Asian American students experience bullying. Following the success of the first series where 94% of student participants felt proud of their identities after joining Homeroom with Tan France, Act To Change will be holding a second series of workshops on July 30, 2021 to continue the conversation to help address and prevent the bullying AAPI youth face.  

 

As a member of Act To Change’s advisory council, Tan France proposed the idea of Homeroom with Act To Change to visit schools to speak with students directly about bullying. 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 third annual National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate in May 2021.  

 

“Back to school season can be a time of stress for a lot of kids in the country, as returning to school often means a return to the bullying they might experience. Kids are often targeted by bullies because of differences they don’t understand,” said Tan France. “I am happy to once again be partnering with Act To Change on its Homeroom series to ensure that when we send our kids back to school we are empowering them to stand up to bullying in their schools and in their communities. If we teach our kids how to identify and advocate against bullying now, we can set them up to be safe and compassionate now and into the future.” 

 

Nominations for middle and high schools were collected for the Homeroom workshops, and four schools have been selected for this year’s round of workshops. Seven students and one faculty member from each school will participate in the workshop led by Tan France. 

 

Tan will be virtually visiting the following schools for its second series:

  • Westfield High School, Westfield, NJ
  • Black Pine Circle, Berkeley, California
  • Boston Arts Academy, Boston, MA

 

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?”

 

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.

 

To learn more about last year’s program and the ten participant schools, click here.

 

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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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2021


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.
  • GLAAD
  • GLSEN
  • 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. 

 

 

 

 

 

80% OF ASIAN AMERICANS HAVE EXPERIENCED BULLYING, NEW BULLYING SURVEY FINDS

May 18, 2021

 

80% OF ASIAN AMERICANS HAVE EXPERIENCED BULLYING, NEW BULLYING SURVEY FINDS

 

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.

States, Cities, 250+ National Organizations, and Celebrities to Unite for National Asian American and Pacific Islander Day Against Bullying and Hate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2021

Viet Tran | viet@dawndesignstudios.com

 

States, Cities, 250+ National Organizations, and Celebrities to Unite for National Asian American and Pacific Islander Day Against Bullying and Hate

Amid rise in anti-Asian hate, national anti-bullying group Act To Change leads national commemoration to honor legacy of Vincent Chin and promote action, healing, and solidarity

 

Next month, May 18, 2021, marks the third annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) National Day Against Bullying and Hate, led by AAPI anti-bullying nonprofit 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.

 

Participating celebrities and influencers in the May 18 virtual event UNITED WE STAND (1pm PT / 4pm ET) include:

 

  • Doug Emhoff, Second Gentleman of the United States
  • Bretman Rock, global internet superstar
  • Tan France, TV personality
  • Olivia Munn, actor and activist
  • Jeremy Lin, NBA champion
  • Liza Koshy, actress, producer and creator
  • Senator Mazie Hirono, HI
  • Senator Tammy Duckworth, IL
  • Congresswoman Grace Meng, NY-06
  • Congressman Andy Kim, NJ-03
  • Congressman Kai Kahele, HI-02
  • Randall Park, actor, director and producer
  • Jasmine Shao, content creator and study influencer
  • Ashley Park, Tony and Grammy-nominated actor
  • Simu Liu, actor, author and activist
  • Deepica Mutyala, founder and CEO, Live Tinted
  • Momona Tamada, actress and activist
  • Bowen Yang, comedian, writer, and actor
  • Michelle Lee, editor in chief, Allure 
  • Liz Kleinrock, anti-bias, anti-racist educator and consultant
  • Hudson Yang, actor, Fresh Off The Boat
  • Prabal Gurung, CEO and creative director
  • Aparna Nancherla, comedian and actress
  • Hari Kondabolu, comedian-writer
  • Jose Antonio Vargas, founder, Define American
  • Bing Chen, president and co-founder of Gold House
  • Sheetal Sheth, actress, author and activist 
  • Maulik Pancholy, actor, author and co-founder of Act To Change
  • Leela Ladnier, actress, Mira, Royal Detective
  • Sarah Ha, VP, National Community Alliances, Teach For America
  • David Yi, co-founder of Good Light and author of “Pretty Boys”
  • Tiffy Cooks, food content creator
  • Christine Chang, co-founder and co-CEO of Glow Recipe
  • Sarah Lee, co-founder and co-CEO of Glow Recipe
  • Nick Cho, Your Korean Dad, content creator, and coffee entrepreneur
  • Hāwane Rios, singer, songwriter, chanter, and protector

 

Fast Facts:

  • About 1 in 5 students report being bullied during the school year
  • Fifty percent of Asian American students report bias-based harassment
  • Two-thirds of Sikh American students report being bullied
  • Half of Muslim American students report being bullied due to their religion
  • 1 in 4 Asian American youth has experienced COVID-19-related bullying

 

According to a recent report from 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 Senate last month voted to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Bill to address the rising number of hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans. Sens. Mazie Hirono, Tammy Duckworth, and Rep. Grace Meng now call on the House to swiftly consider the bill. 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.

 

If you are a company, organization, or individual interested in becoming a sponsor or partner for National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, visit acttochange.org/2021dayagainstbullying.   

 

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

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Originally launched under President Obama’s White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, 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. 

Addressing the Atlanta violence

We’re sickened, crushed, and devastated by the violence in the Atlanta-area spas yesterday that left eight people dead. The fact that six of the eight victims were Asian American women is particularly painful in the context of the rise in anti-Asian xenophobia, hate crimes, and attacks that have surged since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

Data from Stop AAPI Hate revealed a disproportionate number of anti-Asian incidents in the last year were directed to women. Of the near 3,800 incidents, 68% were reported by women compared to 29% by men. We cannot ignore the ways in which those most impacted by racism are those who also experience oppression at the intersection of other lived experiences and identities. Liberation for women, elders, sex workers, low-wage professionals, undocumented Asians, and so many other marginalized Asians is at the heart of what dismantling white supremacy looks like.

 

We don’t know everything yet, and there will be more to discuss and process, but we know enough to say this: systemic problems require systemic solutions, and we’re committed to following the lead of those most experienced in driving systemic change. During these dark and painful times, please check in on each other. Stay vigilant. Extend compassion and grace, and offer what you can without expecting a response. Practice both self-care and community-care. Remember to breathe, and know that you are loved, beautiful, and powerful beyond measure. Let’s help our community and ourselves heal together.

 

We also encourage everyone to support, follow, and donate to these organizations:

@AAPIWomenLead: https://www.imreadymovement.org/
@NAPAWF: https://www.napawf.org/
@AAAJ_Atlanta: https://www.advancingjustice-atlanta.org/
@StopAAPIHate: https://stopaapihate.org/
@iHollaback: https://www.ihollaback.org/

Letter of Support for Dr. Vivek Murthy

February 26, 2021

 

The Honorable Patty Murray

Chair

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Richard Burr

Ranking Member

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Chairman Murray and Ranking Member Burr:

 

On behalf of Act To Change, we strongly support the nomination of Vivek Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. to the position of Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Murthy is a champion for the physical, mental, social and emotional health of our nation’s children. He is a tireless anti-bullying advocate and a proven leader who builds coalitions among diverse communities to ensure better health for our country. We believe he will again serve the nation well in this role, especially at this critical time of crisis.

 

Act To Change is a national non-profit organization dedicated to combating bullying and hate, especially among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth. Act To Change envisions a world where all youth– including from the AAPI, Sikh, Muslim, LGBTQI, and immigrant communities– have the opportunity to grow up feeling supported and proud of who they are. Act To Change supports youth agency in responding to bullying with healthy ways, connects students with culturally-responsive resources, and advocates for systemic change.

 

Since our organization’s inception, Dr. Murthy has been an avid supporter of our mission to end bullying in the AAPI community. Act To Change originally launched in 2015 as a public awareness campaign under President Barack Obama’s White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) in which Dr. Murthy served as co-chair. As Act To Change transitioned out of the White House to a grassroots movement, Dr. Murthy provided invaluable support as we became a 501(c)(3) organization in 2018. We were honored to have Dr. Murthy serve as the first member of Act To Change’s inaugural Advisory Council. 

 

Bullying is a significant public health challenge facing our country. Many students are being bullied in schools due to increasingly anti-immigrant and xenophobic discourse. Unfortunately, many AAPI youth who are bullied also face cultural, religious, and language barriers to getting help. As a well-respected physician and public health expert, Dr. Murthy is keenly aware of the consequences of bullying on the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of children and young adults. As bullying and hate crimes against AAPIs rise across the country, Dr. Murthy’s extensive training, background and passion for emotional health is a critical asset, now more than ever. 

 

Dr. Murthy has been an invaluable partner in our movement to ensure that all youth feel supported in the development of their identity, and empowered to share their stories.  Dr. Murthy advocates for the victims of bullying, while also seeking to understand and address the perpetrators who are often struggling themselves. We are continually humbled by Dr. Murthy’s dedication to building more inclusive spaces for youth, especially those from communities of color. 

 

We also support the government’s commitment to diverse leadership. It is important to build a government that truly reflects the rich diversity of our country, including Asian American representation in top leadership roles. In addition, Dr. Murthy has the background and experience of working with diverse communities, and this perspective is critical in serving as Surgeon General when the government must respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact across the nation.

 

We strongly urge the swift appointment of Dr. Murthy to the position of Surgeon General of the United States. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Act To Change Board of Directors

  • Maulik Pancholy, Chair & Co-Founder
  • Rebecca Lee, Managing Director & Co-Founder
  • Jill Yu, Managing Director & Co-Founder
  • Belinda Lei, Managing Director
  • Ru Bhatt
  • Josef Canaria
  • Elaine Dang
  • Mindy Kordash-Shim
  • Richard Leong
  • Jamie Lok
  • Saad Qureshi
  • Anthony Reyes
  • Nancy Tien

 

Statement on the recent rise of anti-Asian hate and violence

 

A message of hurting, healing, and hope.

 

We grieve with our elders, our families, and our communities.


None of this is new. Act To Change launched as a public awareness campaign on bullying prevention, out of President Obama’s White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, when in some communities more than half of Asian American students reported being bullied, and in others the rate remained far underreported. Since 9/11 there has been a consistent increase in violence and hate towards Sikh, Muslim, and South Asian members of our community, and we saw a similar increase in xenophobic and racist hate that came alongside COVID-19, exacerbated by government leaders using racist terms. Stop AAPI Hate has documented nearly 3,000 hate incidents in the last year.

 

Just because it isn’t new doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. The videos and photos have been so incredibly hard to watch. We’re saddened by how long it took for mainstream news outlets to cover what was happening to our elders, and we’re angry that so many still don’t know what’s been happening. We want justice for our elders and for our communities, and we want to feel like we can belong and exist in this country. 

 

Our vision is for a world where all youth have the opportunity to grow up feeling proud and supported in the development of their identity and sharing of their stories. Today, we are reminded that dreaming of a better world requires work, and it is in the spirit of hope and hard work that we want to remind our community: The bullying and violence against Asians is rooted in white supremacy culture.

 

The same systems that shaped the model minority myth also leverage that narrative to pit Asians as a wedge group against other communities of color. We are grateful for the many voices that have risen to support our community, and we call on everyone, especially those with a platform, to amplify efforts to build solidarity with Black, Indigenous and other communities of color to combat and dismantle systemic racism. We cannot be truly anti-racist without centering Black liberation.

 

Instead of allowing white supremacy to pit us against one another, Act To Change commits to supporting our community by:

 

  1. Spreading awareness to mobilize others to act in their home and in their communities by offering coordinated support, supporting local organizations working to fight racism within their communities, and amplifying diverse stories and perspectives.
  2. Educating our community and others about the rise in hate and bullying against the AAPI community, examining the systems that perpetuate violence and hate, and finding solutions that are culturally relevant, community centered, trauma informed.
  3. Building coalitions nationally and locally. We specifically believe it is important to listen and follow the lead of local community organizations and activists, and this became particularly pronounced after the violence in the Bay Area, New York City, and so many other places. We encourage everyone to follow the lead of local and grassroots leaders in communities they wish to support, such as the over 40 community organizations in the Bay Area who have banded together under the Oakland Chinatown Coalition.

 

Resources