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The answer to discrimination and violence against the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is increasing their visibility, two AAPI leaders said on Thursday at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: Asian Americans are in the spotlight after a yearlong spike in anti-Asian incidents across the country and shootings in Atlanta that killed eight people, including six Asian women.

What they're saying: "For me, it's quite simple. The problem is invisibility; therefore the solution is visibility," said Amanda Nguyen, founder and CEO of Rise, a nonprofit that advocates for survivors of sexual assault.

  • She cited the need for Asian American representation in Hollywood, government, mainstream media and education.
  • Younger AAPIs are raising their voices, breaking from first-generation immigrants who feel that they can't speak up because they need to survive.
  • "That generational split, I think, has helped not only because of many people speaking up, but also because of social media democratizing access to resources and the idea that we are not alone," Amanda Nguyen said.

What to watch: Linh Nguyen, a longtime community organizer and executive director of RUN AAPI, a youth voter outreach campaign, said at Axios' Thursday event that long-term investment is needed to galvanize AAPI power.

  • Conversations that bridge the generational differences "need to happen within our own families" and communities, she said, noting that her own mother still embodies survival mode.
  • Historically, AAPI women have led these conversations and served "on the front lines" of the movement for justice, Linh Nguyen said. But now is the "moment for us to keep this as mainstream as possible ... We have to keep talking about it."

The bottom line: "For folks who are wondering how in this moment they can help, know that it is so incredibly important that you speak up," Amanda Nguyen said.

Watch the event.

Go deeper

API nonprofit Gold House selects 10 women-led companies for accelerator

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

10 early-stage companies led by Asian women have been selected for an accelerator program from Gold House, a nonprofit aimed at improving representation and achieving cultural equity.

Why it matters: People of Asian descent have faced systemic bias in the U.S. for generations and during the past year have been disproportionately impacted by "twin crises" of the pandemic — women especially.

WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Health measures taken to combat COVID-19 before the emergence of Omicron should also help against the new variant of concern, World Health Organization officials said Friday.

What they're saying: Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a virtual briefing broadcast from Manila, Philippines, that border controls imposed by the U.S. and other nations can "buy time" to deal with the variant, but warned "every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases."

1 hour ago - Health

Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada's Public Employees' Benefit Program Board voted Thursday to charge workers enrolled in public employee health insurance plans a surcharge of up to $55 a month if they're not vaccinated against COVID-19, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state to announce such a move, per AP.