Authored by the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Allyship Committee
On the heels of the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown in the United States and a noted rise in anti-Asian harassment, eight people—six of them Asian women—were killed in Georgia yesterday in an apparent hate crime. With this horrific loss of life amid a spate of xenophobic attacks around the country, Hot Bread Kitchen is mourning in solidarity with our Asian and Asian-American partners, members, friends, and family to call for an end to the violence against Asian American Pacific Islander communities. On behalf of our team, Hot Bread Kitchen’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Allyship (DEIA) Committee condemns all forms of bias and discrimination against AAPI people and ethnic groups, which impact not only our program members but our staff and leadership as well. As an organization, we are here to provide support and solidarity, and to act as a resource for AAPI-identifying folks in our community and throughout New York City.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic early last year, attacks on Asian-American Pacific Islanders have increased dramatically. The organization Stop AAPI Hate, which formed at the start of the pandemic to track incidents of racialized/anti-Asian violence, logged nearly 3,800 self-reported hate incidents between March 2020 and February 2021 from individuals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 14% were logged in New York. This number likely does not provide a full picture of the threat AAPI folks face, as most incidents of harassment go unreported. The spectrum of anti-Asian bias we have seen in the past year is not limited to the most vulgar physical attacks and hate crimes, but also includes the xenophobic boycott of AAPI-owned businesses. In Chinatowns and Asian business hubs throughout the U.S., small businesses began grappling with significant declines in revenue before widespread shutdowns last March–because of prejudice, not because of public health restrictions. We have seen the xenophobia that kept customers away from Asian-owned businesses in the early days of the pandemic persist even as restrictions have loosened and local economies have reopened. According to the Asian American Bar Association of New York, economic recovery from the pandemic is expected to be slow for Asian-Americans “due to institutional barriers which could be exacerbated by racial bias.”
As an organization dedicated to economic equity, we are disheartened to witness the exacerbation of inequities for AAPI communities that predate COVID-19; we know this is not the first instance of systemic racism harming Asian-Americans. On average, AAPI women make only 85 cents for every dollar paid to white men, while Asian-Americans overall face rising income inequality and limited direct resources for those most in need. Gaps in equity for AAPI communities are not new, but they are growing wider and more dangerous. Hot Bread Kitchen is committed to promoting equity for Asian-Americans and all members of our community.
In support of our AAPI community, we are holding space for our staff to discuss, grieve, and support one another and sharing anti-hate resources with our community of members and partners. We would also like to offer the following resources targeted at ending xenophobia and anti-Asian discrimination for good.
Community and Safety Resources
- Anti Hate Safety Resources, Asian American Federation
- Report an Incident with Stop AAPI Hate
- Report an Incident anonymously in New York with the Asian American Federation (available in 8 languages)
- Request a safe walk home or volunteer to be a safe-walker (available in 4 languages) @safewalksnyc
- Protect Chinatown – volunteer to chaperone and provide safe walks
- Asian Women Alliance – an action-oriented network to help raise awareness and fund non-profit organizations in order to aid in their continued work of: protecting marginalized AAPI women and our elders; driving social, political, and economic change for AAPI women and youth; and fighting Asian hate
- Soar Over Hate – a non-profit that equips AAPI to resist hate crimes with personal safety devices, encourages community advocacy amongst youth through volunteering and need-based scholarships, and offers healing from racial trauma through our Heal From Hate Therapy Fund