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How to help the Asian American community: Donations, educational resources and more

There's been a rise of attacks against people of Asian descent in the US. Here are practical things you can do to help.

Alison DeNisco Rayome Managing Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome
4 min read
People march through Chinatown in Boston during a Stop Asian Hate rally.

On March 13, hundreds of people marched through Chinatown in Boston en route to the State House during a Stop Asian Hate Boston rally.

Erin Clark/Getty Images

A man stabbed two Asian American women in broad daylight on a busy San Francisco street on Tuesday, in yet another attack on the Asian community in the US. This attack follows numerous others, including the March 16 shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent. The March shooting sparked nationwide protests, rallies and vigils to speak out against hate crimes and racism directed at Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Over the past year, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have reported nearly 3,800 hate incidents, according to data from the nonprofit reporting center Stop AAPI Hate (PDF) -- and this number is likely only a fraction of the crimes that actually occur. The attacks -- including verbal harassment, shunning, physical attacks, civil rights violations and online harassment -- target women more than men, the data found. 

The rise in hate-based attacks over the past year has coincided with the spread of the coronavirus and with former President Donald Trump's statements blaming China for the pandemic -- rhetoric that includes terms like "China Virus" or "Kung Flu" and that contradicts guidance from the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. If you'd like to do something to help support the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, we've collected a list of resources, including educational tools, ways to report incidents, and contact info for organizations accepting donations.

Donate money

Here are a few organizations working on a national level to fight anti-Asian racism and attacks. You can find several more national and local organizations to donate to here

Stop AAPI Hate: This nonprofit, created in March 2020, tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the US. It also offers multilingual resources for community members, and advocates for local, state and national policies that reinforce human rights and civil rights protections. 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice: This organization's mission is to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans, to build a more fair and equitable society, through education, litigation and public policy advocacy.

Hate Is a Virus: This grassroots organization launched in April 2020 as a response to the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans due to the pandemic. It raises money to help a number of community organizations nationwide and runs virtual education events. 

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: This organization provides legal services for cases that have major impacts on the Asian American community and for community-based organizations; conducts free multilingual legal advice clinics for low-income people and new immigrants; and trains students in public interest law.

Protestors at the The Violence Towards Asians rally in New York City

Protestors at the The Violence Towards Asians rally in New York City on Feb. 20. Hate Is a Virus is a grassroots organization you can donate money to now.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Support Asian-owned businesses 

Many minority-owned businesses were shut out of the federal Paycheck Protection Program designed to help during the pandemic. You can make a difference by choosing to frequent Asian-owned businesses both locally and nationally. Reader's Digest has collected a list of 30 Asian American-owned businesses you can shop from online. 

Learn more about the history of Asians in America

This website of Anti-Asian Violence Resources has a number of news articles that can help you understand what's been happening over the past year or so. But the history of racism against people of Asian descent in America goes all the way back to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the US, and it extends to present day. NBC News has collected a list of anti-racism resources, including books, podcasts and documentaries to help you understand this complicated history.

Seek out volunteer opportunities

Depending on where you live, you may be able to find some opportunities to volunteer your time to help the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. For example, the Oakland Chinatown Coalition is organizing a volunteer foot patrol to build relationships with community members and clean up the neighborhood.

Report an incident

If you're the victim of a hate crime, you should write down every detail as soon as you can, and file a police report, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Asian Americans Advancing Justice has a website where you can report hate incidents (in multiple languages), read reports from others and find legal resources. You can also report incidents on behalf of yourself or someone else in multiple languages on Stop AAPI Hate's site

If you need mental health support, the Asian Mental Health Collective has a directory of therapists to seek out. You can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration free helpline 24/7: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).