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hate wins only when it divides us

Protecting and Strengthening the Rights and Dignity of Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

Racism and discrimination against Asian Americans was old news by the time the COVID-19 pandemic happened

but it definitely spiked additional physical and mental health harms and caused the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes and hate incidents. In these very challenging times Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL) became the civil rights voice for the community.

AJSOCAL has been working to raise awareness about increased racism and discrimination against Asian Americans who are being wrongly blamed for the coronavirus. This discrimination is taking many forms from hostility and suspicion that Asian Americans are carriers of the coronavirus to verbal abuse, harassment, and even

physical violence.

bystander intervention

Narrated by Ken Jeong

This video featuring the voice of actor Ken Jeong and illustrations by award-winning artist

James Yang, is a simple yet really helpful instruction on what to do if you see an act of racial harassment.

6.7M views on YouTube

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“I joined AJSOCAL in August 2020 in large part because I was seeing the rise in anti-Asian hate, but felt frustrated that it wasn’t yet getting the attention and response in the US it needed. This project was incredibly important because it allowed our organization to take immediate action and to raise awareness on this emerging problem in the early days of the pandemic.

I’ve been inspired by the tens of thousands of individuals who have taken bystander intervention training for anti-Asian hate and xenophobic harassment. Despite the dark cloud that has been the hatred targeted towards our community, the light still comes through in seeing so many people stand up against that hatred and take concrete measures like bystander training to create safe communities for us all.”

Connie Chung Joe,
CEO AJSOCAL 

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[ anti-asian hate project resources platform ]

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meet the team

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Connie Chung Joe

Chief Executive Officer

Serving as the public face of AJSOCAL to bring attention to ant-Asian hate as a broad societal concern in America. Also increasing general public awareness of AJSOCAL, so that community members experiencing anti-Asian hate know that they have a trusted place to turn for free, confidential support. Leading the entire AJSOCAL staff in working together as a cohesive team in support of the community.

John Kim

Managing Director of Client Services

Oversees and supports legal services staff and advocates who are the first line of contact with community members who contact us seeking help with anti-Asian hate. Works extensively with monolingual and limited English proficient clients

Alice Lee

Managing Director of Community Engagement
Director of Community Engagement

In charge of increasing awareness and visibility of the AJSOCAL name and resources available to the community, engaging them both regarding anti-Asian hate and other programs. Facilitates outreach in multiple languages

Christina Yang

General Counsel and Pro Bono Director
Lead for AJSOCAL’s bystander intervention training program, including coordinating certified training facilitators from AJSOCAL’s staff and CBO partners’ staff. Under Christina’s leadership, the team provides free trainings for the public in both English and Asian languages. Christina is also in charge of securing pro bono legal support for community members who have experienced anti-Asian hate.

[ stories from stand against hatred ]

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Charlene Sun
Associate
Crowell & Moring LLP

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Jackson Pai, Counsel
Crowell & Moring LLP

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[ stories from helpline ]

Hannah

Community Legal Advocate, AJSOCAL

“As a Chinese legal advocate my role is to guide my Chinese community to get access to their legal resources”.

sylvia

Community Legal Advocate, AJSOCAL

“I picked up the phone and used the language they are familiar with. I could feel the difference between the first time I picked up the phone and after me speaking with them in Cantonese, they felt more comfortable. They kept saying thank you very much, which made me think that at least I was able to give them some direction. That’s why I feel pleased that I gave them a peace of mind”.

quynh

Community Legal Advocate, AJSOCAL

“Many Vietnamese people have problems with English because of the language barrier. It’s very hard for them to get the right assistance. They are also very reluctant to reach out and ask for help because of the language barrier. That’s why they call our helpline and we can assist them with that”.

Community Legal Advocate, AJSOCAL

sophaleena

“I come from Cambodia myself as a refugee. I moved from that environment and I try to help others. My purpose here is helping others”.

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Managing Director of
Community Engagement

alice lee

What do you feel most passionate about working on this Project?

It's about AJSOCAL addressing community needs holistically, and addressing language and cultural barriers head-on – not only in helping folks seek justice in relation to anti-Asian hate, but also supporting housing, employment, and active participation in society and civic engagement. My Community Engagement Navigator staff love their work because they are passionate about educating and connecting with people in our community and creating safe spaces for people to share their stories and learn how to handle hate incidents and crimes, knowing that they are part of an ongoing movement that ignites change and advances justice.

What was the biggest challenge you had to find a way to tackle?

Because the AAPI community is so incredibly diverse, there are many linguistic and cultural nuances my team and I must be sensitive to when we interact with community members. There is a lot of energy, resources, and care that we put in to ensure that we can serve the community in the best possible way, and this remains a high priority for me in continuing to do this work.

Would You Like to Know More
About the Project?

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