March 25th, 2021
WWL Statement of Solidarity
WWL condemns racism, xenophobia, and bigotry against any person or community. We specifically denounce the horrific rise in racially motivated incidents against Asians and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been over 3,800 recorded hate incidents against Asians and AAPIs. AAPI women bear a particular burden at the intersection of sexism and racism: 68% of the victims in these incidents are women; they have reported hate incidents 2.3 times more than men. But we also know that anti-Asian hate incidents often go unreported because of reasons like language differences, cultural norms, and distrust of law enforcement. Amidst this swell of violence and harassment, a white gunman recently stormed through multiple spas in Atlanta, killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent. This horrific mass shooting laid bare racism enmeshed with misogyny.
We also recognize that racism and violence towards AAPIs didn’t start with our current pandemic. Within our state, we have a dark history of the forceful expulsion of Chinese immigrants from Tacoma in 1885, the incarceration of Japanese and Japanese Americans in Puyallup in 1942, continued Islamaphobia and anti-South Asian violence, and other mistreatment of AAPIs in our own communities. We cannot change our history, but we can learn it and work to end racial violence in all forms against all communities.
We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community, including our WWL members. We remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing racial equity and support the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, our fellow Washington minority bar associations, and others in the legal community in calling for action and unity.
WWL encourages you to consider taking the following actions:
· Report and help document hate and harassment: Members of the community who have experienced anti-Asian hate can share their experiences and report to the Asian Americans Advancing Justice website or the Stop AAPI Hate website which are both accessible in English and other Asian languages.
· Learn bystander intervention techniques: Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Hollaback! have made many trainings available to equip people with techniques on how to safely intervene when they see or experience anti-Asian harassment. Upcoming dates can be found at: https://www.ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention/.
· Check in with someone you know: Over 30% of Asian Americans in a July Pew Research survey reported they have been subject to slurs or jokes because of their race or ethnicity since the outbreak began. A simple “How are you feeling?” or letting your friends or co-workers know you’re thinking of them (without the expectation of a response or centering it on you) can go a long way.
· Educate yourself on AAPI history and the history of anti-Asian racism:
o Visit the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (virtual tours are also available);
o Watch PBS Asian Americans, a five-part docuseries about different aspects of the Asian American experience;
o Read books to learn more about Asian American history and experiences.
· Donate to, work with, and learn from organizations that are doing the work, including:
o Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC: AAJC is dedicated to advancing the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and building a fair and equitable society for all through public education, public policy advocacy, community organizing, and litigation.
o API Chaya: API Chaya empowers survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking to gain safety, connection, and wellness. They build power by educating and mobilizing South Asian, Asian, Pacific Islander, and all immigrant communities to end exploitation, creating a world where all people can heal and thrive.
o Stop AAPI Hate: This reporting center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
o National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum: NAPAWF is focused on building power with AAPI women and girls to influence critical decisions that affect our lives, our families and our communities. Using a reproductive justice framework, this organization elevates AAPI women and girls to impact policy and drive systemic change in the United States.
o For community resources, see this crowd-sourced AAPI Anti-Hate Community Resources document.
Thank you to WWL Diversity Vice President, Cristina Sepe, for her work on this statement of solidarity and the emphasis on action items. I hope you will join us in taking a stand against hate, supporting AAPI individuals and communities, and working to prevent discrimination against women.
State Board President
Washington Women Lawyers