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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.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

First fatality confirmed in downtown Austin mass shooting

Police barricades near the scene of a shooting in Austin, Texas, on Saturday. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

A 25-year-old man died Sunday of injuries sustained in a mass shooting that wounded 13 other people in downtown Austin, Texas, the previous day, police confirmed.

Driving the news: Austin police named the victim as Douglas John Kantor, as they continued to search for one of two suspects. One suspect was taken into custody on Saturday following the shooting on 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants.

Pelosi demands Barr and Sessions testify on data subpoenas

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during an event San Francisco, California, on Friday. Photo: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNN Sunday that former Attorneys General William Barr and Jeff Sessions should testify before Congress on reports that the Trump-era Department of Justice seized Democrats' and journalists' data records.

Driving the news: DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Friday an internal investigation into the matter, and Pelosi expressed disbelief to CNN's Dana Bash at assertions that neither Barr nor Sessions knew of probes into lawmakers.