By Eujean Doo
Since the start of June 2020, I have been working on the Stop AAPI Hate Youth Campaign, alongside almost 100 other youth from all over the United States. Stop AAPI Hate is a national campaign created by the SF State University Asian American Studies department, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Act to Change Campaign, and Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, in response to the spike in anti-Asian racism at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this youth summer internship, there were three stages of action, with the help of young adult facilitators. The first stage was a social media campaign. Each group of youth was tasked with designing an eye-catching logo and flyer to raise awareness about the campaign and target youth, who are most familiar with social media, to report racist incidents to our campaign. The second stage was a Stories Campaign, where we reached out to our Asian-American family, friends, classmates, and acquaintances to collect their stories about their experience as an Asian-American during the COVID-19. During this stage, we were able to collect almost one thousand stories of anti-Asian racism. The third and last stage of the youth campaign was the Action campaign. There were multiple different projects that the youth could work on, based on their interests: analyzing data, creating policy reports, designing anti-racist curriculum, and compiling online resources. My group decided to participate in the curriculum development, and we are currently in the process of creating a workshop on Yellow Peril, and its connection to anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
My time working for this campaign has been so inspiring and empowering. It was an amazing experience to get to work closely with a group of very motivated, passionate, and knowledgable peers, and the effects of our hard work are quite evident. Since Stop AAPI Hate launched, the campaign has received almost 2000 reports from across the nation about incidents of racism against Asian-Americans; these include verbal harassment, physical assault, shunning, bullying, and being spat at. The campaign has also gained significant media attention by news outlets like the L.A. Times, the New York Times, PBS, and the Huffington Post. By documenting all of these testimonials and data, Stop AAPI Hate hopes to give voice to the Asian-American community and make policy recommendations, including anti-racism education, mental health resources, ensuring that stores provide safe access to goods and services for Asian-Americans, and holding politicians accountable for using offensive language, like “China Virus” or “Kung Flu,” when referring to COVID-19.
To access for information about this campaign and report any racist incidents, please visit the official website: https://stopaapihate.org/
Other websites and sources: http://www.asianpacificpolicyandplanningcouncil.org/stop-aapi-hate/