Mercer Council News
We Stand with the Asian American & Pacific Islander Community.
During the pandemic, violence, both physical and verbal, against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) has increased dramatically -- hate crimes of this nature, as reported by NPR (cited in a report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University), in approximately 16 cities increased by 150% in 2020. Multiple sources, including NPR and The Guardian, have reported that since the start of the pandemic, there have been between 2,800 and 3,800 reported acts of physical/verbal violence against individuals and acts of vandalism of businesses that have directly targeted the AAPI community. While hate crimes against the AAPI community have been on the rise and we are speaking out more and more about it, we know that this community has historically experienced racism and that it is not something new.
Our hearts are broken to learn that last evening, March 16th, a hate crime was carried out against the AAPI community, which resulted in the murders of 8 people; 6 of them were reported to be Asian women.
We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community, and all communities who experience racism, violence and oppression. It is critically important that we stand up and speak out against racism, xenophobia, oppression and violence and that we all do our part to dismantle white supremacy and other harmful and inequitable systems.
We are stronger when we come together and look out for one another.
For more information about how you can support the AAPI community at this time, please visit: Stop AAPI Hate
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That’s nice, but what is Mercer County specifically doing to help combat this issue?
Hi Gabrielle - Thanks for your comment and question. It is a great one, one that we should be asking all agencies. For our agency and programming, it means discussing these issues internally, having conversations that help us un-learn and re-learn. It means, as a team doing our own personal work on anti-racism and understanding our own 'stuff' and how each of us have had an impact and how we'd like to have an impact, and also coming together to discuss. It's consistently engaging in opportunities to learn, raise awareness (our own and others), understand how racism, oppression and white supremacy are the air we breathe and not the 'elephant in the room'. Because of the work we do in prevention and supporting individuals in recovery, it is critically important that we understand societal and systemic factors come together to create the conditions for substance use and how everything related to this post, and the racism and oppression that certain communities face, is interconnected and interrelated -- especially to substance related challenges and other public health matters. We try to address these matters whenever we can, in our programming, training, etc. If you have further suggestions that would help us get more involved, please feel free to reach out. Thanks for engaging with this post.