Following the National Commemoration, Regional Roundtables Connect Local AA and NHPI Communities with Critical Resources
This week, the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) hosted a virtual national Women’s History Month event to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the tragic Atlanta spa shootings. The national event brought together senior Administration officials at the White House, WHIAANHPI, and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) women leaders united in combating hate. Watch the event here.
In line with Women’s History Month theme “Promoting Healing and Providing Hope,” the national event provided a healing space for AA and NHPI women grappling with the rise in gender-based anti-Asian violence pervading the nation.
Throughout the rest of March, WHIAANHPI’s Regional Network of federal officials in regional offices is hosting roundtables to connect local communities with critical mental health, hate crimes reporting, bystander intervention, and legal resources. This week, WHIAANHPI also released its Combating Hate and Discrimination Resource Guide (link here).
March 16 marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic Atlanta spa murders in which a gunman targeted three separate Asian-owned businesses in Georgia and killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent. Furthermore, the murders of Michelle Go and Christina Yuna Lee and death of GuiYing Ma in New York have continued to trigger AA and NHPI women and reignite the national conversation on fear and vulnerability that persists in the AA and NHPI community.
According to a recent study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, the number of reported anti-Asian hate crimes across a dozen of America’s largest cities increased 339 percent over the past year. In particular, AA and NHPI women have been disproportionately targeted throughout the pandemic, with nearly three in four AA and NHPI women reporting that they experienced racism or discrimination over the past twelve months, according to a new survey by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.
Speakers at the national event commemorated those lost in the Atlanta spa murders and discussed the ongoing violence facing the AA and NHPI community today, especially targeting AA and NHPI women.
The event featured fireside chats with AA and NHPI community leaders from across the nation who shared how their work is addressing the issue of Anti-Asian violence, including against AA and NHPI women.
The event also featured performances by Hollis Wong-Wear and Aerica Shimizu Banks who previewed the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s upcoming Bravespace project release that will feature AA and NHPI women and non-binary musicians and artists to provide meditation and healing tools.
Participants at the national event included:
- Ambassador Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative
- Erika Moritsugu, Deputy Assistant to the President and AA and NHPI Senior Liaison
- Krystal Ka‘ai, Executive Director, White House Initiative and President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
- Rohini Kosoglu, Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President
- Vanessa Chen, Special Assistant to the President for Criminal Justice and Guns Policy
- Carrie Pugh, Director of External Affairs, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Amanda Nguyen, CEO and Founder, Rise
- Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
- Grace Huang, Member of the President’s Advisory Commission and AA and NHPIs and Policy Director at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
- Victoria Huynh, Member of the President’s Advisory Commission and AA and NHPIs and Senior Vice President of the Center for Pan Asian Community Services
- Hollis Wong-Wear, Performer
- Aerica Shimizu Banks, Performer