NEO Philanthropy and its staff express deep anger and sadness after eight people – including six AAPI women – were murdered in Atlanta last week. It is undeniable that this senseless act of violence is the culmination of a year’s worth of racism, suspicion and violence directed at the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, during which time anti-AAPI hate crimes rose more than 150 percent. NEO Philanthropy condemns all hatred and violence and calls on philanthropy to support the AAPI community and fight against white supremacist violence. It is our duty as allies and advocates to speak out against the enormous increase in incidents of slurs, vandalism and violence directed at the AAPI community; to respect and support the victims and their families; and to use our power, voices and resources to support the AAPI community in this time of struggle.
According to the organization, Stop AAPI Hate, in 2020 AAPI women reported hate incidents 2.3 times more than men, many of which were directed against elderly members of the community. It is critical that we name and fight back against the racism and misogyny that made the victims of this heinous injustice vulnerable and which has, until this moment, allowed institutions to look away from this dangerous trend in anti-AAPI attacks.
NEO Philanthropy is a proud ally of the AAPI community and will continue to work to empower and advocate for the most vulnerable among us. In 2020 alone, NEO’s Four Freedoms Fund, AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, and State Infrastructure Fund made more than $3 million in grants to support AAPI-led organizations; including direct support to members of an anti-racism response network to boost the capacity of local and state-based organizations and cohesively set an agenda for long-term transformative change.
We will continue to partner closely with members of the AAPI community to support their work and demand justice for the victims of Tuesday’s violence. We must be explicit about the racism, misogyny, xenophobia and bias against women who, daily, live under the shadow of the threat of violence, including those working in vulnerable and low-wage service jobs.
In the words of Grace Lee Boggs, noted Chinese American author, social activist, philosopher and feminist, “The only way to survive is by taking care of one another.” NEO Philanthropy stands in solidarity with the AAPI community in this time of mourning and will continue to support the struggle for justice, equity and dignity upon which NEO was founded.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta has compiled a list of actions that individuals and organizations can take to support the victims of Tuesday’s attack and the Atlanta AAPI community as a whole. These resources are available here.