March 2021 Highlights

April 5, 2021

These are challenging times for our communities, but CAA continues to build on our core strategies to advocate, to serve, to engage, and to build coalitions that will bring positive change to the lives of many.  Please view some monthly highlights below. 

Cynthia Choi at a Friday, March 19 press conference with California Governor Gavin Newsom, condemning anti-Asian hate. (
Cynthia Choi at a Friday, March 19 press conference with California Governor Gavin Newsom,
condemning anti-Asian hate. (Image Credit: Dai Sugano, Bay Area News Group)

Addressing Anti-Asian Racism

AAPI communities have continued to grapple with the rise in hate incidents. Earlier this month, Stop AAPI Hate, a racial justice coalition we co-founded last spring with the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON) and the Asian American Studies Department at San Francisco State University (SFSU), issued its latest national report documenting nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents. In addition to advocating for civil rights protections, community-based interventions, and culturally-competent resources for victims and survivors, Stop AAPI Hate continues to generate greater attention and awareness to the problem of anti-Asian racism. 
In response to the murders in Atlanta, Stop AAPI Hate and numerous partners helped direct resources and to Atlanta-area community organizations while continuing to educate state and federal lawmakers across the country, including the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee Hearing on AAPI violence was the first of its kind in more than three decades. 
When President Biden’s plan outlining a comprehensive long-term approach to anti-Asian racism was issued on March 30, it included aspects of Stop AAPI Hate recommendations including steps to address gender-based violence, calls for expansion to civil rights protections, and a more robust White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders. 
Closer to home, in San Francisco, CAA met with California Governor Gavin Newsom to share our recommendations on prevention, response, and intervention and participated in a press conference condemning recent violence directed at AAPI communities. We also joined From the Bay to Atlanta, a weekend vigil co-organized by Chinese Progressive Association and the Coalition for Community Safety and Justice, of which CAA is a founding member. The event brought more than one thousand people to Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square to honor lives lost and call for sustained community investments.

Ensuring Language Access for All  

The challenge of language access continues to prevent eligible members of the limited-English proficient community from collecting unemployment insurance and other social programs during the pandemic. In connection to our providing direct assistance to impacted individuals, CAA has come out in support of Assembly Bill 401, a piece of legislation authored by Assemblymember David Chiu, that helps to address this problem. 

Under the leadership of CAA Legislative Director Santosh Seeram-Santana in Sacramento, and our Economic Justice team in San Francisco, CAA is preparing to testify in support of the bill at a California State legislative hearing in April. 

Defending Immigrant Rights 

In a victory for CAA and immigrant rights advocates nationwide, the U.S. Department of Justice ended its defense of the public charge expansion introduced by the Trump Administration. However, comprehensive immigration reform is still needed, and CAA is continuing the fight for immigrnat justice with Citizenship for All, a campaign led by the National Association of Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC). As part of the campaign, we are supporting phone banks and making calls to members of the U.S. Congress to demand a moratorium on deportations and the creation of a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. 

To help keep Chinese immigrant communities informed about local and federal actions on immigration, public resources, and more, CAA’s immigrant rights team also conducted its second Cantonese-language audio workshop. This month, co-hosts Jose Ng and Crystal Van were joined by Kelvin Wu and Francis Chan from the San Francisco COVID-19 Command Center, as well as Dr. Lydia Leung from the University of California, San Francisco for a discussion on vaccine distribution. Together, they addressed concerns including vaccine safety and side effects. 

Building Progressive Chinese Communities Online 

Since 2019,  CAA’s Chinese Digital Engagement team has devoted itself to building a virtual community of Chinese leaders and activists in support of affirmative action, immigrant rights, language access, and other civil rights issues. In March, we hosted a three-day convening on Chinese Digital Engagement to share information on changing narratives, fighting disinformation, and addressing the rise of racism and xenophobia on social media. Held in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, the convening brought together more than one hundred Chinese-language activists, organizers, leaders, and media professionals to shape broader Chinese Digital Engagement strategies going forward. 

Save the Date: CAA’s 52nd Anniversary Virtual Celebration of Justice

We are proud to announce CAA’s 52nd Anniversary Celebration of Justice. On Thursday, June 17, we are bringing our annual gala to the comfort of your home. No matter where you live, we hope you will join us in celebrating the individuals and the organizations leading the struggle for civil rights and racial justice. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for real time developments. 

Originally published by Chinese for Affirmative Action: Source

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