CBS2's Kiran Dhillon shows us how the initiative started and what we can do together to #StopAsianHate.
- It's been such a difficult time, and today marks a National Day of Action and Healing in the wake of rising numbers of anti-Asian hate crimes. On CBS2 you will see public service announcements like that one, and it will feature some of our colleagues like Kristine.
KRISTINE JOHNSON: Yes. The #StopAsianHate is now spreading on social media. And CBS2's Kiran Dillon reports on how the initiative started and what we can do together to stop the Asian hate.
KIRAN DHILLON: As violence against Asian Americans escalates across the country, as well as here at home, Friday has been declared the virtual National Day of Action and Healing.
GRACE MENG: We really just want to raise awareness of all these hateful incidents that have been happening.
KIRAN DHILLON: The initiative created by New York Congresswoman Grace Meng, along with several other organizations. She says the day is an opportunity for us all to condemn racism and discrimination. First, by using the #StopAsianHate on social media. Second, by speaking out to federal, state, and local lawmakers, along with corporations and foundations, asking them to invest more resources into the community.
GRACE MENG: We're also asking people to initiate and have difficult and necessary conversations. To be here when other communities are also speaking up in solidarity with us just means so much.
KIRAN DHILLON: Organizers say March 26 was chosen because it was the day the Naturalization Act of 1790 was passed, an act that stopped non-white individuals from becoming citizens.
A recent report has found anti-Asian hate crimes rose nearly 150% in major US cities between 2019 and 2020. Advocates say in order for the violence to stop, more support is necessary from all levels of government, stakeholders, corporations, and from the masses.
JENNIFER SUN: Asian Americans are fabric of the United States society. I think it's important for people to speak out. The anti-Asian rhetoric has had a dehumanizing effect.
KIRAN DHILLON: These Asian Americans say they're glad the violence is finally being condemned.
- Everyone's moving or becoming united so that everyone could just, like, move together.
- I feel like it should be a given to be respectful.
KIRAN DHILLON: The Day of Solidarity will end tonight with multiple virtual vigils to remember the victims of the Atlanta shooting, six of the eight who are Asian women.
In Chinatown, Kiran Dhillon, CBS2 News.
KRISTINE JOHNSON: And on that note, a worldwide vigil in Atlanta starts tonight at 7:30. You can find a link to it on our website, CBSNewYork.com.