Lever Fund Statement on Fighting Violence and Racism against Asian Americans

We are appalled and deeply distressed by the rise of hate crimes and targeted violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in the United States, where this week we have seen a horrifying mass shooting in Atlanta, GA, with many Asian and Asian American victims, six of eight were women. As a Washington, DC-based philanthropic fund, we particularly mourn with the victims’ families against the background of a concerning spike in hate incidents across the Maryland, Virginia, DC region as well.

While overall hate crimes decreased in 2020, such crimes against Asian Americans in major U.S. cities surged by almost 150 percent. Over the past year, the group Stop AAPI Hate has recorded at least 3,795 reported incidents of violence and hate against Asian American and Pacific Islanders, close to 70 percent of which were reported by women. 

We call this moment what we believe it truly is: racism intertwined with sexism. We stand firm in decrying misogyny, white supremacy, and violence. We must invest in solutions that address the root causes of hate in our communities.

All of us can report hate crimes or incidents when they happen. Asian American community leaders say reporting an incident you experienced or witnessed strengthens the chance a pattern of behavior will be revealed and a perpetrator will be prosecuted. 

You can report a hate incident to Stop AAPI Hate, which has aggregated data since March 2020 and has regularly published its findings. You can also share an incident through the Stand Against Hatred page launched by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which is an affiliation of five organizations based in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. that advocate for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and underserved groups.

Find out more about how you can combat anti-Asian violence

In solidarity,

Connie Chang and Jill Barrett