AAUW Long Beach Branch Statement on
Violence Against AAPIs
From Branch Board of Directors and Diversity & Inclusion Committee
March 25, 2021
AAUW Long Beach strongly condemns acts of xenophobic hate and violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. As an organization that fights for social justice and equity, we cannot ignore the rising tide of violence against AAPI individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic which has largely been overlooked until recent headlines.
We join in collective grief, sadness and loss over the most recent tragedy in Georgia, the mass shootings of March 17, 2021. The fact that six of the eight who were killed were women of Asian descent requires that the intersection of race and gender be called out in these vile, targeted acts. Gendered racism is perpetuated due to the prevalence of stereotypes, perceptions and images of AAPI women which has resulted in a long history of misogyny and violence directed specifically at Asian women by men of all races.
The harassment, discrimination and violence against AAPI individuals has been well-documented. In the past year alone, there has been a significant increase in the number of hate crimes against AAPIs as documented by STOP AAPI Hate. Sadly, California leads the nation in the number of hate crimes against AAPIs, and women reported more than twice as many incidents as men.
We acknowledge the current reality of systemic racism and anti-Asian violence and vow to ensure that our organization is a welcoming and inclusive space for all.
We will continue to educate members about bias and promote awareness of anti-Asian discrimination, racism, and violence against Asian Americans.
We must hold each other accountable and intervene, whenever possible, when we observe acts of discrimination and racism against Asian Americans.
We call upon our legislators to take action against racism, harassment and discrimination.
We call for full prosecution of hate crimes.
We call for the recognition of the intersectionality of race and gender in the Atlanta murders.
We affirm that we are all partners in this together. Progress in social justice must include partnerships with other communities of color and the white community to advocate for actions, solutions, and healing.
Special Edition Summer Newsletter: AAUW LB Summer 2020 Newsletter
Over the past two weeks, our country has witnessed an extraordinary outpouring of grief over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. We at AAUW California are not immune from this pain wrought of unfair treatment of our sisters and brothers of color.
We condemn racism and its associated discrimination. It is the root cause of today’s injustices. These recent instances of anti-Black violence have reaffirmed the need for major societal change, and for a national discussion going beyond racism and police brutality. Prejudice and inequality – including economic inequality – cannot be passively ignored. AAUW has been a leading voice in America in the fight for equity for women and girls, and we especially recognize the additional challenges facing Black women and girls.
AAUW is committed to fighting for justice, and will work collaboratively to give access for all people to the opportunities and resources needed for optimal health and safety. Our organization is a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and we will work to advance the policies and systemic changes such as those identified in the New Era of Public Safety: A Guide to Fair, Safe, and Effective Community Policing and Vision for Justice platform.
We Stand United Against Racism
By AAUW National CEO Kimberly Churches
Tuesday, June 2
During this troubling time in our nation’s history, I hope you are being kind to yourself and others. It feels almost unbearable to witness the anger and anguish erupting in our cities as we also endure a relentless pandemic and economic downfall. The murder of George Floyd serves as a tragic reminder of centuries of racism, violence and lack of humanity for Black people. We join the country in mourning his loss as well as the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other people of color who have been unjustly killed.
But while we are deeply sad, we mustn’t feel helpless. Now is the time to fight for justice. Here are some suggestions for how to move forward:
Listen: Understand that many Black and Brown people are struggling with enormous pain and despair. Open your hearts to them and listen when they speak — without expecting them to work for the benefit of your learning.
Learn: Read our recent statement highlighting AAUW’s stand against racism and the Washington Post article by 2016–17 AAUW American Fellow alumnae Keisha Blain about the problematic history of policing in this country. AAUW will work to advance the systemic changes needed to create a fairer criminal justice system as a proud member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
Speak Up: People of color often experience discrimination at the ballot box. This comes in the form of voting restrictions implemented under the guise of preventing “voter fraud,” which is extremely rare. With a pivotal election ahead, persuading policymakers to expand voting rights is a powerful way to support marginalized communities. Other issues that disproportionately affect Black women and their families are student-loan debt, pay inequity and the lack of a livable minimum wage — all parts of AAUW’s 2020 Gender Agenda you can take action on.
I’d also like to acknowledge that, as an organization, AAUW has its own work to do — and I’m committed to doing it. So I’ll be listening, learning and speaking up right alongside you.
In solidarity and strength,
Chief Executive Officer
AAUW California Recognizes AAUW Long Beach for Outstanding Mission-Based Programs in 2019-2020!
Three branches are recognized for program work on the topic of human trafficking. The Long Beach Branch presented a panel of guest speakers who related the experiences of abused and trapped women living in fear and shared their efforts to help those caught up in this silent web. Ways to identify and assist these victims were explored.
Three branches are recognized for programs in the area of STEM/STEAM. The Long Beach Branch welcomed back three former Trek Tech participants who shared the life-changing impact of this program. The speakers were Rachel Thompson, a Ph.D. candidate in Physical Therapy at CSULB who attended Tech Trek 10 years ago, Gech Huong Huy, a high school senior at California Academy of Math & Science (CAMS), Long Beach Unified School District, who attended four years ago and is heading to the University of San Francisco with a major in Environmental Engineering, and Karintha Marshall who attended the very first Tech Trek Camp 20 years ago and now heads the IT department at a non-profit organization. These ladies have excelled in their fields and have received multiple recognitions for their scholarship and efforts to make a difference in their communities. It was exciting to see the long-term success of such sponsorships.