HONOLULU — Since the COVID-19 pandemic, harmful sentiment and physical abuse against Asians and Asian Americans have increased at an alarming rate. Kaiser Permanente has joined with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice — AAJC ) to establish the Stop Anti-Asian Hate and Violence Initiative. The initiative supports 3 strategies aimed at preventing further racist acts, providing interventions, and promoting healing. These strategies include community education, mobilization, and coalition-building; direct services, mental health, and organizational sustainability; and advocacy and organizational leadership.
Kaiser Permanente and Advancing Justice — AAJC, a national nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that advocates for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and underserved allied communities, worked together to select a diverse set of 33 community-based organizations working in communities Kaiser Permanente serves. A $3.6 million grant, to be distributed through Kaiser Permanente's fund at the East Bay Community Foundation, plus national and local expertise provided by Advancing Justice — AAJC, will support the work of Asian American and Pacific Islander community-serving organizations in meeting needs by expanding services.
In Hawaii, 3 organizations will receive $100,000 each to further their work to counter hate crimes, hate incidents, and discrimination.
“As a health care organization, we understand that it’s virtually impossible for people to achieve emotional or physical well-being when subjected to violence, racism, and other forms of discrimination,” said John Yang, MD, president and medical director, Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “After witnessing the unacceptable increase in assaults, harassment, and hate crimes directed at people of Asian descent on the mainland and elsewhere, we’re grateful to partner with 3 local organizations working to uplift and support our inclusive communities.”
Anti-Asian hate is deeply rooted in the history of the United States and systemically discriminatory policies have contributed to the racism and xenophobia that has manifested in the Asian and Asian American communities for years. Over the past year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a sharp increase in anti-Asian hate taking many forms from hostility and suspicion that Asian Americans are carriers of COVID-19, to verbal abuse and harassment, and physical violence. In 2020, Asian Americans self-reported more than 3,000 hate incidents. With each attack, fear ripples through these communities.
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in Hawaii in 1958, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.