National CAPACD Honors Lives Lost & Forever Changed on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

National CAPACD Honors Lives Lost & Forever Changed on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

On this 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, National CAPACD mourns and honors the thousands of lives lost. We extend our hearts to the countless other survivors and first responders. We stand in solidarity with our Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian brothers and sisters for whom life in this country has never been the same – many who have had to defend their identities and right to belong free of discrimination, profiling, and violence for the last 20 years. And we would be remiss to forget those globally whose lands, borders, lives, and livelihoods were altered by our foreign policies in the aftermath of 9/11.

9/11 irrevocably changed the world we live in – 20 years later, as we reflect on where we were in those moments, we are reminded that 9/11 deeply connected us to one another and emphasized our shared liberation. We have made progress since 9/11, and yet we continue to confront many of the same challenges. In the response to a global public health crisis that has similarly changed the course of our collective lives, National CAPACD is committed to applying the lessons learned from 9/11 – standing vehemently against all forms of hate and violence; being guided by the struggles and stories of those who came before us; centering love and compassion in our work; and showing up to defend the rights of all communities of color to live safely with justice and in hope. Today, we stand in solidarity with Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities. As part of the Asian American Leaders Table, National CAPACD signed on to the following solidarity statement: https://9-11solidaritystatement.carrd.co/

National CAPACD Applauds Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

 National CAPACD Applauds Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

National CAPACD applauds the Senate passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act yesterday. We stand ready to work with the Administration to ensure that all communities of color benefit from its bold investments in a more sustainable, resilient, and just economy. We are encouraged that the legislation seeks to redress the devastating impacts of divestment in our infrastructure on communities of color. It does so through investments in millions of good-paying jobs, affordable high-speed internet to address the digital divide, and reliable public transit. It also commits to clean drinking water, improved air quality, and increased safeguards from climate crises – acknowledging the disparate harm of pollution and climate change on communities of color.

National CAPACD is encouraged by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as a critical starting point for the Administration to build back our communities more equitably. We urge the President and Vice President to continue this work by pushing for investments in affordable housing supply and preservation, as included in the American Jobs Plan, to address one of the most urgent crises of our time. Investing in our infrastructure for the purpose of increasing economic opportunity and redressing historic inequities must be paired with meaningful investments in affordable housing for all.

In a meeting held just last week between President Biden and Vice President Harris and national AAPI leaders, Seema Agnani voiced National CAPACD’s support for the bold plan – “National CAPACD and our partners will work with the Administration to ensure these unprecedented investments benefit communities of color and advance racial equity as intended, rather than deepening existing displacement and inequities. In order to ensure communities of color benefit, there must be accessible public processes in place so that investments, such as public transit development, are implemented in a way that is accountable to local communities.”

National CAPACD Grieves with Indianapolis and the Sikh Community

National CAPACD Grieves with Indianapolis and the Sikh Community

This weekend, our hearts grew heavier by the news of the latest mass shooting on Friday, April 15th at an Indianapolis FedEx facility, which left eight people dead and several others injured. Of the lives lost, four were members of the Sikh community. National CAPACD extends our condolences to the victims’ loved ones, and we vow to be in solidarity with the Sikh community and its leaders during this horrifying tragedy and through the collective healing process.

While the investigation is still ongoing and the motive of the shooter is unclear, much about this violent act is indisputable. The targeted FedEx facility heavily employed Sikh workers, and race must be considered as a motive in the investigation. For the Sikh community, this attack deepens the fear, pain, and trauma from decades of violence, including the 2012 Oak Creek gurdwara shooting and post-9/11 attacks and discrimination. This weekend’s shooting is further devastating because it took place just days after Vaisakhi, one of the holiest days for the Sikh community, which commemorates their commitment to liberation from injustice. Our collective movement has learned so much from the Sikh spirit of resilience, and now we must demand for them the ease of going to their gurdwaras and workplaces without fearing for their lives.

National CAPACD Executive Director Seema Agnani states “We are deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives in Indianapolis last Friday, only a week after the shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota. It is clear that immigrants, communities of color, low-wage workers, and other vulnerable populations are not just the primary targets of violence motivated by hate, but also the victims of leadership that continues to ignore the urgency of stronger gun control laws, police reform, and confronting racism. We will work with national partners and our members to hold our leaders accountable and ensure racial justice for all communities of color.”

The Sikh Coalition issued a statement from representatives of eight Indianapolis-area gurdwaras. Read the statement here.

National CAPACD is Devastated by Loss of Lives in Atlanta Shootings

National CAPACD is Devastated by Loss of Lives in Atlanta Shootings

Last night, eight people were killed in a series of shootings at Atlanta-area spas. Six of the eight victims were Asian American women. National CAPACD is devastated by this racially motivated and gender-based hate crime, the latest and one of the most deadly in the escalating violence against Asian Americans, particularly Asian American women. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, and our community members in Atlanta who fear for their safety. 

During this pandemic, we have witnessed an uptick in violence against Asian Americans – Stop AAPI Hate has reported about 3,800 hate incidents against Asian Americans in the last year. Women were the victims of 68% of these incidents. In fact, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) shared, based on new polling, that nearly half of Asian American and Pacific Islander women have been affected by anti-Asian racism in the past two years. Anti-Asian racism, fuelled by the pandemic, has brought the often silenced but longstanding history of racialized misogyny against Asian American women to the fore.   

National CAPACD implores local and national elected officials to champion policies in response to racially motivated crimes against AAPI women who are often essential workers on the front lines in a number of sectors. We will work in solidarity with our BiPOC partners to advocate for community-centered solutions that challenge hate and violence because no one in this country should fear for their lives on account of their race or gender. 

Finally, we will stand with and follow the lead of our local members in Atlanta who must hold the grief and fear of Asian American women in their communities. Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta states “During this time of crisis for our AAPI community, we call on our local and state government to provide robust and responsive crisis intervention resources, including in-language support for mental health, legal, employment, and immigration services. It is time for Georgia to invest in transformative justice that begins with cross racial dialogue and community-building that address the root causes of violence and hate.”

Read AAAJ – Atlanta’s statement here.  

Read NAPAWF’s statement here.

Organizations Representing Asian American Communities Across the Nation and Allies Release Statement Rejecting Criminalization and Retribution, and Call for Responses Addressing the Root Causes of Racial Violence

Organizations Representing Asian American Communities Across the Nation and Allies Release Statement Rejecting Criminalization and Retribution, and Call for Responses Addressing the Root Causes of Racial Violence

 As a national network of local and national Asian American organizations and individuals that convened in the wake of the pandemic a year ago, we have been working together to share best practices and lessons learned from responding to anti-Asian violence.

We are horrified by the continuing acts of violence against members of our Asian American communities across the country, from New York to Oakland’s Chinatown. We stand in solidarity with the survivors, victims, and their families during this challenging moment, when fear accompanies even the most basic daily experiences. We all deserve to live without the threat of violence and to feel safe in our neighborhoods.

True safety for all must come in the form of investment and resources, not punitive measures that create division and reinforce our criminal justice system’s discriminatory structures. Many grassroots Asian American organizations, including some who are part of this network, have worked for decades as part of multiracial efforts to secure such resources for all of our communities.

The recent assaults in the Bay Area and New York come on the heels of over 3,000 acts of documented anti-Asian hate incidents last year with chilling consequences for our community members who fear violence whenever they leave their homes. There are many additional cases that are misclassified, ignored, or unreported. Going to school or the grocery store, getting a COVID-19 vaccine, or simply taking a walk should not be accompanied by fear of injury or death. However, that fear remains the reality for so many of our community members across the nation.

President Biden’s Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States is a welcome step forward to acknowledging the impact of hateful political rhetoric on our communities.

However, much more must be done at the local level and nationally to combat the vitriol unleashed by the prior Administration, that continues to this day.

The solution to violence is not more violence in the form of aggressive and discriminatory law enforcement. Instead, we need interventions and responses that address the root causes of violence and that provide culturally and linguistically sensitive services for survivors, victims, and their families.

We also call for immediate and deep investments in our communities—including access to victims’ compensation funds, language accessibility, and culturally competent mental health services. We need community ambassador programs to accompany vulnerable community members home, bystander intervention training, equitable public school history curricula, cross-racial community and solidarity building, and restorative justice programs.

All sectors must play a role. Political leaders must follow the lead of community leaders in identifying policy solutions. Philanthropy can provide immediate and long-term resources for programs within our communities and partnerships with Black and Indigenous communities. Government agencies, from the Community Relations Service at the Department of Justice to state and local level programs, must prioritize healing and trauma-informed interventions.

Disrupting and dismantling structural inequities and racism will do much more to make us safe than further criminalization and conflict. The community-centered approaches we have shared  will help us heal and more genuinely help our neighborhoods and communities become healthier, stronger, and safer.

AAPI-Led or AAPI-Serving Organizations:

18 Million Rising

AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund

AAPIs for Justice San Antonio, TX

Act To Change

Alliance of South Asians Taking Action

Asian Pacific Islanders Coalition, South Puget Sound (APIC SPS)

APIC-WA, King County Chapter

APIC-WA, King County Chapter

ASIA PACIFIC CULTURAL CENTER

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles

Asian Americans For Equality

Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP)

Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington State

Asian Community Development Corporation

Asian Counseling and Referral Service

Asian Economic Development Association

Asian Law Alliance

Asian Media Access

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)

Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)

Asian Pacific Community Fund

Asian Pacific Islander Coalition – South Puget Sound Chapter

Asian Pacific Islander Coalition – Spokane Chapter

Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM)

Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council

Asian Solidarity Collective

AYPAL: Building API Community Power

CAIR San Francisco Bay Area

Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop! Consulting

ChangeLab

Chhaya Community Development Corporation

Chinatown Community for Equitable Development

Chinatown Community Land Trust

Chinatown Service Center

Chinese American Museum of Chicago

Chinese American Service League

Chinese for Affirmative Action

Chinese-American Planning Council

Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community

Coalition of Asian American Leaders

Dr. Michael Hutchins Impact on Wildlife Fund

East King County APIC

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)

Equality Labs

Faith and Community Empowerment

Filipinx for Immigrant rights & Racial justice Minnesota

Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM)

Freedom Inc

Grassroots Asians Rising

India Association of Minnesota

India Association of Western Washington

InterIm CDA

Islamic Networks Group (ING)

Japanese American Citizens League

Japanese American Citizens League – Seattle Chapter

Japanese American Citizens League, Twin Cities Chapter

Khmer Girls in Action

Korean American Coalition – Los Angeles

The K.W. Lee Center for Leadership

Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP)

Little Tokyo Service Center

ManForward

Masa

Mekong NYC

MPower Change

Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)

NAKASEC

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

National Asian Pacific Americans Against Substance Abuse

National CAPACD

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)

National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance

OPAWL – Building AAPI Feminist Leadership in Ohio

Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE)

Pacific Asian Counseling Services

People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

Philippine Study Group of MN (PSGM)

Poligon Education Fund

Raksha, inc

Release MN8

Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment

The Revolutionary Love Project

The SEAD Project

Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation & Development Authority

Seeding Change

Sewa-Aifw

Siengkane Lao MN

Sikh Coalition

Snohomish County APIC

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

South Asian Youth Action

Southeast Asian Community Alliance

TaikoArts Midwest

Thai Community Development Center

Theater Mu

Transforming Generations

Tsuru for Solidarity

United Cambodian Community

Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota

W-Isms

Allies:

Arab American Association of NY

Arab American Civic Council

Arab American Institute (AAI)

Believers Consulting LLC

CAPIUSA

Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, California State University, San Bernardino

Color of Change

Cullasaja Synergy Consulting, LLC

East Bay Democratic Socialists of America

Interfaith Alliance

Islamophobia Studies Center

Lambda Legal

Muslim Advocates

Muslim Wellness Foundation

NAACP Hollywood Bureau

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

National Council of Jewish Women

National Immigration Law Center

National Urban League

Rabbinical Assembly

Secure Justice

SolidarityIs/Building Movement Project

Support Life Foundation

Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation

United We Dream

White Center Community Development Association

 

Resources:

Statement from Asian American organizations in the Bay Area

From @18million Rising, “Call on Me, Not the Cops” in Asian languages: https://18millionrising.org/2020/06/callonme.html

From APANO: A Resource Guide for AAPI Anti-HateActivists,Victims and Survivors of Hate

https://www.apano.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/PUAH-Resilience-to-Hate-Resource-Guide-3_23_20.docx.pdf

From Advancing Justice – AAJC and Hollaback! Bystander Intervention Training:

https://www.advancingjustice-aajc.org/events

From Vision Change Win: Community Safety Toolkit

https://www.visionchangewin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/VCW-Safety-Toolkit-Final.pdf

Hate Reporting Sites:

Stopaapihate.org

Standagainsthatred.org

 

National CAPACD Celebrates Historic Elections As the Country Calls for New Leadership Determined by the People

National CAPACD Celebrates Historic Elections As the Country Calls for New Leadership Determined by the People

National CAPACD’s members and partners have worked tirelessly to organize in communities around the country, implementing strategic GOTV campaigns and navigating the challenges created by COVID-19, to ensure that our communities were heard in this defining election. This week, we witnessed the results of their efforts – despite a global pandemic and deliberate efforts to undermine political participation, Americans turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots across communities throughout the country. Though votes are still being counted, the 2020 voter turnout is projected to be the highest in over a century. This unprecedented engagement signals our collective will for new leadership that responds to the urgent challenges of our times.

Earlier today, election results determined former Vice President Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. National CAPACD congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, the first Black and South Asian woman to hold office at the highest level of our government. Despite attempts to undermine the results by calling to question the integrity of our voting systems, we applaud the efforts of election officials to uphold our democracy by ensuring every vote is counted accurately, fairly, and securely. It is not the government that chooses its voters; it is the voters who choose their government – a government by, and for, the people.

National CAPACD also celebrates progressive wins on the national level, as well as up and down the ballot during this election, demonstrating the growing power of our movement. We saw the reelection of “the Squad” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN- 5), Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13). In addition, Sarah McBride is set to become the first transgender senator in U.S. history, Cori Bush will become the first Black congresswoman in Missouri, and Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones will become the first LGBTQ+ Black members of Congress. We look forward to working with these leaders and the next Administration on progressive solutions that reach us all, particularly those whose rights were stripped and very existence endangered by the current Administration.

National CAPACD Executive Director Seema Agnani states “The next Administration has an immense opportunity and responsibility to heal the divisions in this country. We are ready to move forward together to make this country a place where all of our communities can thrive. This election, like so many before it, attests to the undeniable power of targeted outreach in and cultivating relationships with communities of color, who often serve as voting blocs that can change the course of an election. We will wield this power to hold our elected officials accountable, pushing for policies that lift up all communities and move us towards a more just and equitable society.”

Coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Organizations Oppose Efforts to Roll Back Fair Housing Gains

Coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Organizations Oppose Efforts to Roll Back Fair Housing Gains

We strongly oppose Secretary Carson’s decision to terminate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH), a critical provision that combated discrimination in localities and publicly funded housing agencies. Low-income communities of color were already facing monumental challenges in accessing affordable homes even before the economic downturn caused by COVID-19; with some estimates suggesting that as many as 28 million people could be evicted in the coming months, the elimination of the provision only exacerbates the looming homelessness and housing crisis. The AFFH rule was a historic step in not only preventing racial and other forms of discrimination, but also, in proactively allowing those most marginalized by years of inequity, to have a voice in shaping policy at the local level.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to amplify the grave disparities and structural racism that exists in our country’s housing system,” said Seema Agnani, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development. “Yesterday’s decision further amplifies this Administration’s lack of respect and care for the American people and its commitment to exclude people of color and marginalized communities from housing and other critical government services.  This decision is particularly harmful in the context of the current political moment – the nation coming together to demand an end to systemic racism.”

NCAPA National Director Gregg Orton stated, “The Trump Administration trying to hide the truth of their decision in the headline of their press release tells you everything you need to know: terminating a fair housing rule is a bad headline—they knew it—so they threw in the rule’s acronym to try and hide it.

This also follows the mind-numbing and maddening pattern that has defined their response to the COVID-19 crisis: make things worse. When faced with a public health crisis, they wanted to take healthcare away from Americans. Now, with millions of Americans facing economic uncertainty, a direct result of their failure to address the pandemic responsibly, they want to undercut housing protections.”

National CAPACD Opposes HUD’s Proposed Anti-Transgender Rule

National CAPACD Opposes HUD’s Proposed Anti-Transgender Rule

On July 1st, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced proposed changes to its 2016 Equal Access Rule, which would allow HUD-funded housing providers to discriminate against transgender people seeking shelter. This proposed rule change advances the current Administration’s transphobic agenda and emboldens those who wish to harm the transgender community, particularly trans women and trans people of color, who are already disproportionately at risk of housing insecurity.

National CAPACD Executive Director Seema Agnani states “HUD’s proposed rule change is not only discriminatory, but also dangerous and particularly callous given the current crisis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of access to safe shelter increases the risk of exposure in shared living spaces. Housing is a human right, not a benefit conditioned on sexual orientation or gender identity. National CAPACD stands with our transgender family in these difficult times, and we are committed to always advocating for gender justice in housing.”

National CAPACD’s partners have launched the Housing Saves Lives campaign to oppose HUD’s anti-transgender rule. Visit the campaign page to learn more, access templates once the 60-day comment period opens, and stay updated.

National CAPACD Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Uphold DACA & Protect Immigrants

National CAPACD Applauds Supreme Court Decision
to Uphold DACA & Protect Immigrants

Earlier today, the US Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, to allow the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to continue for the time being, upholding the rights of over 800,000 young immigrants and their families to live in this country without fear or distress. National CAPACD applauds the Supreme Court’s decision, which challenges the Administration’s xenophobic agenda by stating that the Administration’s attempt to terminate the DACA program was “arbitrary and capricious.” We know that this decision does not permanently protect the DACA program, nor is the program on its own sufficient to address the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Nonetheless, we are encouraged by this victory, which affirms the millions of immigrants who lend their presence, labor, and service to make this country better with little to no return for their contributions.

The DACA victory today comes on the heels of a landmark 6-3 Supreme Court decision earlier this week that states lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) people cannot be fired or discriminated against in the workplace under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. This decision establishes legal protections and precedent for millions of LGBTQ people to navigate the workplace free from discrimination, and affirms their right to dignity and respect.

National CAPACD Executive Director Seema Agnani states “We have witnessed the tragedies of our broken system far too often, a system intentionally designed to fail Black communities and leave our communities behind. In the last few weeks, we have been called to show up for Black communities, confront our complicity, and challenge our broken system – and to do this while continuing to support our communities hard hit by COVID-19. The Supreme Court decisions this week are a testament to the power of our collective movement to win meaningful, intersectional change for our communities. Today’s win comes on the eve of Juneteenth, reminding us that we cannot afford to be distracted or divided any longer – these wins only deepen our mandate to show up for one another. We will continue to advocate for comprehensive and humane immigration reform; challenge discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; demand that all #BlackLivesMatter; and push for policies that rebuild our system to be equitable and just.”

Today, National CAPACD celebrates our members, partners, and allies for their tremendous advocacy and organizing to protect DACA, and their unwavering commitment to the millions of immigrants who call the United States their home. National CAPACD looks to Congress now to push forward a permanent pathway to citizenship for all immigrants.

National CAPACD Demands Justice for George Floyd

National CAPACD Demands Justice for George Floyd

With the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor still fresh on our minds, National CAPACD is heartbroken by the violent and senseless death of George Floyd. On May 25, 2020, George was pinned to the ground by a police officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, choked until he could no longer breathe, and ultimately killed. Footage of the incident affirms the presence of third parties who could have intervened on behalf of George, and instead chose to stay complicit. Like so many before them, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd lost their lives to police brutality born from a deeply racist system that criminalizes black bodies.

National CAPACD Executive Director Seema Agnani states, “We are in the final days of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. As we reflect on our histories and celebrate our contributions, our friends and allies in the black community fear for their lives. The challenges of COVID-19 have reminded us of our collective responsibility to support one another and ensure each other’s safety. We must commit to acknowledging, confronting, and dismantling complicity and racism within our own AAPI communities. Again and again, we must repeat: #BlackLivesMatter. That is the heritage we should leave behind for our children to celebrate.”

National CAPACD calls on our members and allies to act against the horrifying injustices that black communities face. We must work together to ensure that black people have the right to exist in this country without constant fear for their lives. Here are some things you can do to demand justice: