March 22, 2021
Addressing the Rise of Anti-Asian Racism and Supporting Asian-Canadian Community Members
Anti-Asian racism has been on the rise since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and media outlets are reporting incidences of violence and discrimination similar to those that occurred during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Fight COVID Racism has been collecting reports of attacks on Asian Canadians, and as of today they have collected reports of 856 separate incidents.CTV News has reported alarming increases in Anti-Asian hate crimes over the course of 2020: Vancouver reported a rise of 717%, Ottawa 57%, and Montréal experienced a spike of 30 incidents of Anti-Asian racism.
StatsCan chart depicting the increase in harassment based on race, ethnicity, or skin colour since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OPDI denounces these acts of hate and racism, and stands with all those who have been harmed by Anti-Asian racism.
These hate crimes have detrimental effects on both the physical and mental health of Asian Canadian communities, especially when combined with the financial and social challenges of the government’s lockdown initiatives. We want to highlight the work of organizations who are supporting Asian American communities during this time of even greater need.
While Anti-Asian racism has been more visible since the COVID-19 outbreak, it has existed before and will continue to exist afterwards. It’s important to address discrimination when you encounter it and continue to support the work of Asian individuals and organizations after we have all moved back into green zones. Continue supporting their businesses and check in on your Asian-Canadian friends and family members.
- Hong Fook Mental Health Associationis a community mental health agency that provides a continuum of services ranging from treatment of illness to promotion of wellness in the Cambodian, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Korean and Vietnamese communities.
- Community Family Services of Ontarioworks to build a safe and harmonious community by providing professional counselling, settlement, disabilities, and special needs services to individuals and families in need. Their website is accessible in English, French, and Chinese.
- Cold Tea Collective is a new media platform, sharing the real stories, perspectives, and experiences of North American Asian millennials. At the beginning of 2020, they posted a list of mental health resources which included online resources, as well as ones based in Canada.
- Fight COVID Racismis a national project that is collecting reports of Anti-Asian violence in Canada. They have also created a podcast that shares stories from people who have experienced this racism first-hand: Voices of the Pandemic.
- The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) have collaborated to develop a resource entitled, Addressing Anti-Asian Racism: A Resource for Educators.
- Project 1907is a grassroots organization made of Asian women that aims to elevate Asian voices in mainstream social, political, and cultural discourse. They have compiled a list of resources, which includes a section on self-care and wellness.
- The Mental Health Coalitionhas recently published a list of Asian American and Pacific Islander Mental Health Resources, and many of the online resources are accessible to Canadians.
Thank you to Luyang Xie for recommending resources for this blog post.