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New York Fashion Designer Urges Everyone To 'Choose Compassion' With Face Masks

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A local fashion designer has found a creative way to fight back against anti-Asian hate incidents after her employees were targeted. CBS2's Cindy Hsu reports.

Video Transcript

MAURICE DUBOIS: Local fashion designers found a creative way to fight back against anti-Asian hate incidents after her employees were targeted.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: "CBS 2's" Cindy Hsu has the story of compassion masks.

CINDY HSU: Aruk Jvanni is head designer for the fashion company Gravitas. He says while walking with friends on the Upper West Side, someone came up to him and yelled, "coronavirus spreader. Go back to China."

What went through your mind when that happened?

ARUK JVAANI: A shock. Yeah, a reall shock.

CINDY HSU: Lisa Sun is the founder of Gravitas. And her team is like family. When Aruk shared his story, and several seamstresses talked about their experiences with recent hate incidents, the company created two face masks-- one that says, "look for good, see the good." The other, "choose compassion."

LISA SUN: Compassion is actually not just about expressing sympathy, it's about alleviating someone's distress.

CINDY HSU: 100% of the proceeds goes to Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit website where you can report hate incidents against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders that often go unreported.

LISA SUN: I think Asians are typically less likely to show weakness and pain and vulnerability. And you know, we're often trying to show how strong we are, how much-- how hardworking we are.

CINDY HSU: There are many ways to take action. You can support Asian-owned businesses and charities that are working for Asian communities. Lisa says now is the time everyone can do something.

LISA SUN: For the community, if you do have friends, if you have business relationships, reaching out and saying, if there's anything I can do, I'm here.

CINDY HSU: It's a powerful way to choose compassion. In the Garment District, Cindy Hsu, "CBS 2 News."

KRISTINE JOHNSON: And it is a choice.

MAURICE DUBOIS: Yep. And it goes a long way.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: It does, yes.

MAURICE DUBOIS: You bet.