Helping the Asian-American community has never been more urgent since devastating hate crimes have risen in the past couple of years. One of the most well-known examples is the March 16th, 2021 shootings in Atlanta at three massage parlors, killing six Asian women. In the wake of these attacks, many Asian-Americans fear for their safety. All Americans need to make helping Asian/Asian-American communities an immediate priority. This article will discuss the context for these horrific crimes and suggest ways to support the Asian-American community.
Many of these attackers blamed the Asian-American community for the coronavirus, a claim that is absurd and baseless. According to NBC News, there were 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents over the past year, and 68 percent of the victims were women. Asian women reported hate crimes twice as much as men did. One troubling explanation behind targeting women was the disturbing perception of Asian women being weaker and therefore easier to target. The most common attack methods were verbal harassment and shunning as well as physical assault. The media has focused more attention on anti-Asian hate crimes, particularly in the aftermath of the 2021 Atlanta shootings.
To help mitigate these problems, publishers like Marie Claire have promoted ways to support Asian-American community organizations.
There are many ways the everyday citizen can help the Asian-American community. One way is to report anti-Asian hate crimes to the local police and the FBI if an individual is a target, witness, or has information about them. Donating to community organizations like the AAPI Community Fund and AAPI Women Lead will make a positive impact. A third way is to support restaurants owned by Asian Americans since many people have hatefully boycotted them. Fourthly, people need to stay educated and informed. There are plenty of educational resources now from books to documentaries that investigate anti-Asian attacks. It’s also critical for individuals to educate their own families, peers, and colleagues to correct biases and sharpen the focus on these types of hate crimes.
In conclusion, awareness, education, and community support are some of the most significant ways to help the Asian-American community right now. The more people learn, empathize, and extend helping hands, the less the chance of these hate crimes occurring.
Nikolas Velikopoljski, Founder at The Benefitted
Growing up in Miami, Nikolas Velikopoljski has always been heavily involved within his community. In high school, he began volunteering at Sisters of Sacred Heart, helping to feed the homeless. He was also involved in Leading Miami, a youth-based program that worked to teach leadership skills to young kids. Later, he began volunteering with Get Smart, a non-profit that supplies educational materials to underfunded schools in Bermuda.
The son of a Miami-based entrepreneur and community leader, Nikolas’s care for his town and those who live there, as well as his innovative mind, came naturally. In 2018, he founded The Benefitted, a luxury apparel and accessories company. Born out of his observation that attendees of the Hard Rock Stadium needed bags that were compliant with the stadium’s guidelines, his first product was a clear vinyl fanny pack that became coveted by locals. As his company expands, Nikolas has visions of collaborating with large institutions, including charitable organizations and universities, to make an even bigger impact in the lives of others.