The tragedy witnessed last week in Atlanta as six Asian-American women were killed is just the latest incident in a growing number of hate-filled and violent attacks on Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) across our country. Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, the only AAPI non-profit legal advocacy organization in Georgia, reports that hate incidents targeting Asian Americans have increased nearly 150% since the pandemic began in 2020. Nationally, Stop AAPI Hate received 3,800 reports of anti-Asian violence from March 2020 – February 2021. The reporting center released a study in March showing businesses are the primary place where these incidents occur.
Locally, Stop AAPI Hate notes 40 racist incidents in Oregon, including physical and verbal assaults on public transit and businesses in Portland’s Jade District where in January 2021, more than a dozen Asian-owned businesses had rocks thrown through their windows or were otherwise vandalized.
“We are devastated by this latest attack on the AAPI community, and our hearts are with everyone who is suffering from the pain and fear that these hateful acts provoke,” said Liz Enomoto Martin, Director of Marketing and Community Relations. “As a community credit union, we are committed to making lasting change both inside our organization and in our region. Silence is not an option.”
On top of what’s already been a challenging period for non-profits serving the AAPI community, national tragedies like we saw last week create added strain. AAPI organizations tell us their staff and volunteer numbers are dwindling as they are being asked to work even harder to meet a growing need while facing their own cycles of trauma, stress and fear.
To support non-profits serving the AAPI community, we are donating to the organizations below as an initial first step to help them create added capacity to advance their mission. We invite you to learn more about their critical work and consider supporting them as well.
- Asian Pacific Network of Oregon (APANO) is a statewide nonpartisan political advocacy and leadership development organization that unites the AAPI community in Oregon to build power, develop leaders and advance equity through organizing, advocacy, community development and cultural work. APANO’s vision is to create a just world where Asians and Pacific Islanders have the power, resources and voice to chart their own path forward by driving political, social, economic and cultural change.
- Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) is an alliance of culturally-specific, community-based organizations with representation from the following communities of color: African, African American, Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, Native American, Pacific Islander and Slavic. The CCC supports a collective racial justice effort to improve outcomes for communities of color through policy analysis and advocacy, environmental justice, culturally-appropriate data and research, and leadership development in communities of color.
- The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) is a community-based organization that serves the holistic needs of Oregon’s immigrants, refugees and underserved communities. They work to empower children, youth, families, and elders from around the world to build new lives and become self-sufficient by providing more than 200 culturally and linguistically specific social services.
“We understand this is an extremely difficult time for non-profits serving AAPI communities,” said Josephine Davis, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program Manager. “We want our partners and the AAPI community to know we stand with them and we want to build on our commitment, taking it beyond financial donations.”
We have been hard at work applying a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion to all aspects of our organization through robust new trainings, resources and engagement opportunities. We recognize that our organization needs to evolve along with the world outside our offices and branches as dialogue around historical and present-day inequities becomes more commonplace. Our goal is to build cultural competency within our branches and promote racial equity and justice.
There is no place for racism, hate or racial violence in our world, our nation or our community. As a financial institution and employer, OnPoint’s commitment to creating a safe, equitable and inclusive environment where everyone belongs has never been stronger. In times of crisis, we focus on our core values of doing the right thing and acting with integrity. These values serve as our guide as we continue our work to be better and build a more just community for everyone.