Updated Apr 8, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on anti-Asian violence in America

On Thursday, April 8, Axios executive editor Sara Kehaulani Goo, Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo and Axios business reporter Hope King hosted a conversation on Pan-Asian American identity and politics, featuring Michigan State Sen. Stephanie Chang, Rise founder & CEO Amanda Nguyen and RUN AAPI executive director Linh Nguyen.

Sen. Chang unpacked building coalitions in Michigan across issues including immigration, voting rights, and criminal justice reform, and highlighted the work of young activists in the Asian American community.

  • On finding common ground: "I think that it's really important that we're always making connections between issues, so whether it's #StopAsianHate or working on issues of racism and connecting them to Black Lives Matter and also continuing the fight for immigrants' rights."
  • On the work of young activists: "It's a struggle, but also really inspiring to see the amazing activism, especially from younger people in the community, that are really rising up and speaking out."

Amanda Nguyen discussed anti-Asian discrimination, legislation around hate crimes, and the impact of equitable representation.

  • How the legal definition of hate crimes does not capture the big picture of anti-Asian violence: "Hate crimes may be defined in certain ways on the state level [and] on the federal level differently. However, we must address unconscious bias when people talk about hate crimes."
  • On the critical need for Asian American representation: "The problem is invisibility, therefore the solution is visibility. It means representation in the system...Federal government representation, mainstream media, our education [systems]."

Linh Nguyen discussed building political power, an intersectional approach to political organizing, and having conversations that bridge generational divides within the Asian American community.

  • On the potential for political impact: "I think more specifically in the electoral organizing space and recognizing the power of Asian-Americans...we've only been able to really recognize the tip of the iceberg."
  • On addressing anti-Blackness in the Asian American community: "I think for a lot of us who are in the community in organizing, these conversations also need to happen within our own families...it needs to happen in the churches that we belong to, in the community centers that we go to."
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