As anti-Asian racism and xenophobia continue to grow, we’ve seen an increase in attacks against Asian communities and individuals around the world. It’s important to know that this isn’t new; throughout history, Asians have experienced violence and exclusion. However, their diverse lived experiences have largely been overlooked.
We also cannot forget historical efforts to create rifts — often perpetuated by the model minority myth — between Asian and Black communities. The time for allyship is long overdue. The time for allyship is now.
At Twitter, our principles of allyship are straightforward:
Here’s how you can practice allyship right now:
Do your research to understand what Asian communities have faced and are facing right now — at home, and around the world. Here’s just a few resources to check out:
Check in on your folks. Approach questions with empathy and curiosity as a way to understand people’s lived experiences. Do not approach asking questions from a place of disbelief. Especially as a leader or a manager, it’s important to create the space for people on your team who may be experiencing fear, anger, or anxiety.
Questions you can ask:
When someone’s sharing their experience with you, it’s enough to simply say, “I hear you.” Don’t feel like you need to respond, or provide your own story. Instead, center them, and listen to what they’re sharing with you.
In a time when we’re all social distancing, it may seem difficult to show up physically for your colleagues or community members. Try doing it virtually. Engage with Tweets amplifying Asian voices and experiences, attend virtual events, sign petitions, find and reach out to local Asian community centers, and ask how you can support.
Consider shopping from an Asian-owned businesses. Place orders for food, goods, or even gift cards. Now is the time to show your support for local Asian businesses that have been struggling since the start of the pandemic.
Donate! If you can, support organizations that are supporting Asian communities. Using a restorative justice and community based approach, Stop AAPI Hate launched in March of last year to track and respond to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA) works towards the visibility and inclusion of AAPI journalists in newsroom leadership, and towards equitable and accurate coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and AAPI issues. The Chinatown CDC is a community development organization that serves as neighborhood advocates, organizers and planners, and as developers and managers of affordable housing. And Asian Americans Advancing Justice is an organization dedicated to fighting for civil rights and empowering Asian Americans to create a more just America for all.
In meetings, on Twitter, in conference calls, in chats with friends and family, speak up. Be mindful of misinformation and jokes that are actually offensive and racist. Call out or call in to address harmful behavior.
Leverage your voice and privilege to amplify the experiences of Asian communities. Instances of xenophobia aren’t isolated incidents — they’re happening everywhere. Here’re some examples of how you can use your voice:
Allyship is not about who you are, but about what you do — daily, and in times of need. Everyone is dealing with a lot these days, but be especially mindful of those who are facing unsafety, violence, and hate because of their identity. There is no better time to stand up for what’s right. Be an ally today, as you may need one tomorrow.
We’re in this together, #UntilWeAllBelong.