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Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act and the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act in a rare bipartisan vote (94-1). The bill is aimed at bolstering efforts to combat rising anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic and improve hate crimes reporting across the country. The House is expected to vote in coming weeks. It's a major victory! Read more
Podcast: When Hate Lives Next Door —
The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act

The Not In Our Town podcast features powerful voices from people across the country who are taking a stand against hate and working to create safe and inclusive communities for all.

In this new episode, we examine how the tragic killing of Khalid Jabara, a young man who was murdered by his next door neighbor in a hate crime, prompted a call for critical changes in hate crime law and reporting.

NIOT's Jeremy Jue talks with members of the Jabara family about the events leading up to the murder of Khalid Jabara in Tulsa, Okla., on April 12, 2016, and with experts about how their case informed the creation of the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act. The podcast features Khalid's mother, Haifa, and his two siblings, Rami and Victoria; Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute; and NIOT Founder Patrice O'Neill. Listen now

In this episode, Patrice O’Neill, filmmaker and founder of Not In Our Town, talks to Susan Bro, a mother and teacher who became a passionate social activist after her 32-year-old daughter Heather Heyer was killed by a white supremacist in the Charlottesville protest on Aug. 12, 2017. Listen now

How to Stand with the AAPI Community in
Solidarity Against Anti-Asian Hate
The rise of anti-Asian hate incidents and violence since the beginning of the pandemic is spreading trauma and fear across our country. Racism targeting Asians has an ugly, painful history in the U.S., and the current manifestation has created a crisis of safety and security. This eruption of racism is not an “Asian problem” but a call to action for EVERYONE.

In our guide, What Can You Do to Fight Anti-Asian Hate and Violence, we offer ideas and suggestions for individuals, local NIOT groups and elected officials to put into action in your communities. Elected officials are powerful messengers to defuse tensions and risks of violence, set positive behavioral expectations decrying violence, and reaffirm the community’s confidence in and commitment to democratic processes. Read more
US Sikh Community Traumatized by Yet Another Mass Shooting

Ajeet Singh told the AP that he had to steel himself for a return to work at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis this past week after a former employee there shot dead eight people, including four members of Indianapolis’ tightly knit Sikh community.

“I’ve been scared to go back,” Singh said. “I don’t know why this happened still. Was it random, or was it because of who I am?”

We mourn the victims — Matthew R. Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Johal, Jasvinder Kaur, Jaswinder Singh, Amarjit Sekhon, Karli Smith and John Weisert — as we await the conclusion of the ongoing investigation of the tragedy. Whatever the result, the truth is that the Sikh community is already traumatized from past attacks, including the 2012 hate crime killings of six Sikh worshippers at an Oak Creek, Wisc. temple.

“My own son heard the words ‘Go back to your country’ when he was only 4 years old,” recalled Valarie Kaur, a civil rights activist, attorney, and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project, at a virtual vigil for the victims. “And memories from Oak Creek are coming back to me, memories from post 9/11 are coming back to me, and all of us are in this kind of deep trauma as a community.”

"As we go forward, and the COVID-19 pandemic eases restrictions on gathering in public and private spaces, we need to take the threat of mass shootings seriously and be intentional in building an infrastructure on both prevention and supporting the communal and individual trauma of survivors," writes Pardeep Kaleka in the Milwaukee Independent. "Let’s have meaningful discussions on the role of guns and enact policies around gun reform since 100% of mass shootings in our country involve the use of firearms."

“We are time and time again disproportionately facing senseless and often very targeted attacks,” says Satjeet Kaur, executive director of the Sikh Coalition, a New York-based group that has urged investigators to examine bias as a possible motive in the shootings.

“The impact on the community is traumatic,” she continued, “not just particularly the families that face the senseless violence, but also in the community at large because it’s community trauma.”

Reach out to the Sikh community in your town and let them know they have your support.

Consider holding a virtual screening of the NIOT film, Waking in Oak Creek, to learn about what happened in Wisconsin and how its community came together after tragedy.

Consider holding an outdoor vigil in your town to honor and remember the victims of hate violence in the past weeks and months, and to show support for members of your community who may be feeling targeted. We must stand together against hate.
Mark Your Calendars:
Bystander Training from Hollaback!
Various Dates in April + May

In response to the rise in Anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment, Hollaback! has partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC to adapt their free bystander intervention training as well as offering a de-escalation training to meet this moment.

Please visit Hollaback's Bystander Training website to learn more about upcoming FREE trainings:
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