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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

AAA to host anti-Asian hate conversations, encouraging solidarity

Protestors continue to advocate for anti-Asian hate, as hate crimes continue to escalate.
Courtesy of Lev Radin
Protestors continue to advocate for anti-Asian hate, as hate crimes continue to escalate.

Suffolk University’s Asian American Association (AAA) is working with campus departments and organizations to host discussions this week about how to fight and cope with anti-Asian racism. 

The Suffolk community will be able to listen to different perspectives and stories of alumni, staff and other panel speakers about anti-Asian hate and awareness.

 AAA is hosting its first discussion, “Moving Beyond Social Media Solidarity,” on Tuesday from 6-7 p.m.. This discussion aims to help the Suffolk community and others  educate themselves and continue to support the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community beyond social media.

This event comes after the Atlanta mass shooting on March 16 that killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. 

“When AAA put out the statement (i.e. regarding the Atlanta shooting), I noticed we had a lot of people liking the post, reposting it and it was really highlighted,” said Anna Nguyen, AAA president. “But as the day grew longer, I asked myself, how long will this last?” 

Nguyen saw parallels between anti-Asian racism awareness on social media and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, which was especially prominent online last summer. During this time, many people shared their support for the BLM movement on social media but did little else to fight injustice, leaving others questioning whether this support would continue once it was no longer as trendy. 

Co-chair of Suffolk’s Diversity & Inclusion Council Xin Yi Yap hopes these events will encourage everyone to actively support the AAPI community. 

“It should not be our responsibility to tell people what to do. Allyship is a verb, not a noun,” said Xin Yi Yap.

A week before the Atlanta shooting, AAA held a mental health discussion regarding the rise of Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campus organization looks to hold these meetings to provide supportive spaces to to have open discussions.

According to Nguyen, social media may not always be the best way to share information and awareness because it may only reach the same peers. While the AAA president appreciates people for wanting to hold conversations around anti-Asian hate, she said it is exhausting to have the same conversations over and over again. That is why Tuesday’s discussion is an event for Suffolk to see new perspectives from the AAPI community. 

“Leaders within our Suffolk community have found that we are consistently invited to speak about two main things: Our thoughts on anti-Asian hate crimes and what we would like allies to do about it,” said Xin Yi Yap. “As much as we are grateful for the opportunities to raise awareness about this issue, it has become emotionally laborious.”

The second event AAA is hosting this week, “Actions Speak Louder: Combating Anti-Asian Hate Together,” on Thursday from 6:30-8 p.m. in an effort to cultivate a conversation with more people, rather than having the same conversation multiple times in different spaces. 

Thursday’s meeting will be an event mainly intended for peers to listen, according to Nguyen. The speakers of this panel will encourage attendees to educate themselves in an effort to understand what has been happening. Students and staff will be co-facilitating this session, monitoring questions from the audience throughout the conversation. 

This discussion will highlight many topics, ranging from the history of the AAPI community, an overview of the hate crimes committed, how COVID-19 has driven hate crimes and any personal perspectives from the speakers themselves. 

Resources will be provided to attendees to help them become better allies. The goal of the session is for peers to continue learning and standing by the community as a call to action, rather than solely attending.

“The only thing I did ask for was for organizations or departments to encourage their own members or e-boards to be there, get involved and dig deep,” said Nguyen. “Instead of being there on a screen, if you really want to show solidarity, be there and be present.”

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Olivia Acevedo, World News Editor | she/her
Olivia is a senior majoring in print/web journalism while double minoring in advertising and environmental studies. When she isn’t sprinting from place to place on campus, she likes to spend her time with her dog and attend sporting events. Olivia is originally from West Springfield, Massachusetts and has a passion for animals and history.  Follow Olivia on Twitter @OliviaAcevedo12 Email her at [email protected]

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AAA to host anti-Asian hate conversations, encouraging solidarity