photo credit: Welcome To Chinatown
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and we’re going to be celebrating with essays, product recommendations, and guides to NYC’s best Egg Tarts, Filipino Pastries, Asian-Owned Coffee Shops and Vegan Restaurants, and much more. But first, we want to talk about how you can support NYC’s Asian Community right now.
Since the onset of the Covid outbreak in early 2020, hate crimes and violence towards our country’s AAPI communities have devastatingly spiked. According to NBC, a recent report released by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino found that New York City saw a 223% increase in racially motivated attacks against Asian folks in 2021. Data analysts at the university recorded a rise from 13 hate crimes between January and March 2020 to 42 in the same three-month period this year, making NYC’s jump the sharpest increase of anti-Asian hate crimes anywhere in the country. In response, the mayor introduced the NYPD Asian Hate Crime Task Force to specifically monitor hate crime reports and investigations.
Back in February, a group of NYC restaurants launched a fundraiser called Enough Is Enough as a way to effect change. Through this campaign, Junzi Kitchen, Saigon Social, Fish Cheeks, Nowon, Di an Di, and more restaurants are spreading awareness about violent attacks toward the AAPI community, and have raised over $75,000 to provide free meals to underserved communities during these tough times. In partnership with Kitchen Rodeo, they also offered access to a virtual cooking class to all of their campaign donors.
Since launching, Enough Is Enough’s fundraising campaign has tripled its original $25K goal, and they are now donating the additional funds to other non-profit organizations helping Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander communities. You can find some of those organizations, and more ways to support the AAPI community as a whole, below.
5 NYC Asian-American Restaurateurs Reflect On The Escalation Of Anti-Asian Hate
NYC-Based Organizations Supporting Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander Communities (That Accept Donations):
Heart of Dinner: Delivers care packages to Asian elders in NYC.
Mekong: Improves the quality of life of the Southeast Asian community in the Bronx and throughout New York City by achieving equity through community organizing and healing, promoting arts, culture, and language, and creating a safety net by improving access to essential social services.
Send Chinatown Love: This crowdfunding platform donates 100% of its proceeds to cash-only, Asian-owned small businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
Think! Chinatown: Amplifies the voices of Manhattan’s Chinatown residents and business owners, and advocates for equitable policies and programs on their behalf.
Welcome to Chinatown: This grassroots initiative was established to support Chinatown businesses and amplify community voices that generate much-needed momentum to preserve one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
National Organizations Supporting Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander Communities (That Accept Donations)
Red Canary Song: This international organizing group works with Asian and other migrant sex workers on labor rights and mutual aid. In addition to fighting for labor rights, they seek to abolish police raids and the deportation and criminalization of sex workers.
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Foundation, Atlanta Chapter: NAPAWF advocates for the movement for social, political, and structural change for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls, by fighting for reproductive and immigrant rights, closing the wage gap, and more.
You can find more national organizations to donate to here.
Check out Protect Chinatown’s new walking chaperone initiative and volunteer to accompany anyone who feels unsafe walking around Flushing, Sunset Park, or Manhattan’s Chinatown. You have to be at least 18-years-old to participate, and you can find all the details here.
Main Street Patrol is another organization that aims to make everyone feel safe walking the streets of Flushing on weekends. It’s run by volunteers who are trained in bystander intervention. Learn more and sign up here.
Soar Over Hate has raised over $18K to purchase self-defense devices for NYC Asian elders, women & LGBTQ people. You can sign up to help the organization distribute things like pepper spray and security alarms here.
The city’s Commission On Human Rights is hosting free bystander intervention training sessions online both in English and in Mandarin over the next several weeks. Learn more and sign up here.
Keep Showing Up for Your Favorite Asian-Owned Restaurants
Support Asian-owned businesses by ordering from the restaurants in your neighborhood. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out our guides to Sunset Park, Koreatown, Elmhurst, Manhattan’s Chinatown, and Jackson Heights, along with our Outdoor Korean BBQ, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese guides.
And, as always, tip generously.
Buy Some Asian Food-Inspired Art & Decor
Whether you want to buy a couple durian stickers for a friend or a print whose proceeds go to Stop AAPI Hate, check out Senior Art Director Emily Ng’s 16 picks.
Many Asian American food and kitchen companies are also donating sales to charities as well. Here’s a list of national brands to support now and always.
16 Pieces Of Asian Food-Inspired Art and Decor To Buy Right Now