Asian-American groups launch database tracking hate and bias directed at New York City community

Two US-based non-profit organisations focused on Asian-Americans launched a first-of-its-kind database on Tuesday to track incidents of hate and bias directed at New York City’s Asian community and connect them to resources.

The Committee of 100, a group comprising influential Chinese-Americans, and The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), founded by prominent Asian-Americans in light of increased attacks towards the community in 2021, are jointly funding the project, supplemented by a grant from the US Justice Department.

Available in English, the tracker is collecting “incidents motivated by hate, bigotry, bias or discrimination” against Asian-Americans, which made up about 15 per cent of New York City’s population in 2020.

Victims can submit incidents anonymously as well as request additional support from local non-profit partners supporting the project. Individuals are encouraged to report even in cases where the motivation behind incidents is unclear.

“As incidents of Asian hate continue to plague our community, it is our hope that this work will have long-standing use in understanding the causes of Asian hate and bias and guide us in implementing evidence-based solutions,” said Cindy Tsai, interim president of the Committee of 100.

A sign is held aloft during a rally in New York in February 2022, a day after the killing of Christina Yuna Lee in her Manhattan apartment building. Lee’s stabbing death sparked anger in the city’s Asian-American community. Photo: AP

According to a 2023 survey of 6,500 Chinese-Americans conducted jointly by the Committee of 100 and Columbia University, 55 per cent of respondents worried about hate crimes or harassment, 9 per cent said they had been physically intimidated or assaulted and 20 per cent said they were the object of racial slurs.

As of 2022, there were 5.5 million Chinese-Americans in the US and more than 24 million Asian-Americans. From 2000 to 2019, Asian-Americans were the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the US, according to the Pew Research Center.

Norman Chen, CEO of TAAF, said the tracker would serve as “an accurate and up-to-date database to ensure survivors have access to the resources they need to heal and inform solutions that will eventually help bring an end to AANHPI hate”, using the acronym for Asian-American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.

In March, TAAF released a survey of 1,000 New York-based Asian-Americans, finding that one in five respondents experienced physical attacks or assaults in 2023 but only 46 per cent of those who experienced a hate incident had reported it.

Since the rise in Asian discrimination observed during the coronavirus pandemic, TAAF has also financed other efforts to track hate incidents targeted at Asians, including Stop AAPI Hate, a national tracker.

Tuesday’s announcement comes amid celebrations for the US government’s Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Founded in 1979 as a week-long tribute in May, it has evolved into a month-long showcase of both Asian-American culture and difficult topics like social justice.

TAAF and the Committee of 100 said they hoped to replicate the tracker in other US cities and expand it to a total of 11 languages. They plan to launch a dashboard of aggregated submitted data this summer.



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