NAAAP-Wichita’s Statement on Atlanta Shooting

March 20th, 2021 

NAAAP-Wichita is saddened by the news of the fatal shootings of 8 people in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 16th, including six women of Asian descent. It is undeniable the number of violent incidents against the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community has significantly skyrocketed in this last year.

From March 19th, 2020 through February 28th, 2021, 3,795 bias incidents were reported to the Stop AAPI Hate forum, a 150% increase from the previous year. These incidents have taken the form of verbal harassment, physical assault, civil rights violations, and online harassment. 

When our organization was founded in 1982, following the racially-motivated murder of Vincent Chin, our mission was to activate the APIDA community to overcome discrimination in their communities and at their workplace. Additionally, NAAAP was founded to build leaders within the APIDA professional community. Overcoming barriers, stereotypes, and discrimination is a constant and conscious act the APIDA community is no stranger to. As outlined by the Ohio University’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, “the US has a long history of anti-Asian discrimination, two examples being the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the internment of Japanese people during World War II. And yet, anti-Asian racism continues to be less visible to many, in part because of the relentless myth of the “Model Minority” that implies that all Asian Americans belong to one monolithic group (quiet, hard-working, affluent), obscuring the persistence of anti-Asian racism and other social problems.”

It is our hope our Greater Wichita community approaches our APIDA community with the desire to learn about our unique history, experiences, and struggles through tough yet growth-promising conversations.

We also call on the Greater Wichita community to denounce all anti-Asian discrimination in all forms and show solidarity with all affected by discrimination, racism, and sexism.

Resources for our community to combat anti-Asian racism and to support the APIDA community

Stop AAPI Hate recommends the following safety steps if you are to witness anti-Asian racism:

  • Take action. Go to the targeted person and offer support.
  • Actively listen. Before you do anything, ask – and then respect the targeted person’s response. If need be, keep an eye on the situation.
  • Ignore attacker. Try using your voice, body language, or distractions to de-escalate the situation (though use your judgement).
  • Accompany. Ask the targeted person to leave with you if whatever is going on escalates.
  • Offer emotional support. Find out how the target person is feeling and help them determine what to do next.
  • Separately, receive training.
    • Hollaback! (an organization working to end harassment) is working with Asian Americans Advancing Justice to provide:
      • Free bystander intervention training geared to aiding the Asian and Asian American communities
      • Conflict de-escalation training, including a session NAAAP will sponsor on May 13
      • Sign up here

How to be an ally to the APIDA community:

Identifying hate crimes & general guidance on what to do when experiencing or witnessing a hate crime:

  • The Wichita Asian Association (WAA) provided an extensive guide on how to identify hate crimes and what to do when experiencing or witnessing a hate crime last year.  
  • Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition of nonprofits, organizers, and educators committed to addressing the rise in anti-AAPI hate incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic, also has resources in understanding, combatting, and reporting hate crimes.

Learn about experiences of APIDA community: 

#AsianAmCovidStories – a Youtube documentary series exploring Asian Americans’ experiences and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic