The recent surge in violence against Asian Americans has prompted leaders across the country to speak up in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic one year ago, there have been more than 3,800 incidents of hate crimes against Asian Americans, according to the advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate. Asian Americans from California to New York, including the elderly, have been verbally and physically attacked by bigots who blame China for the coronavirus.
The Asian American Business Development Center, along with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Black Chambers, has called on CEOs across America to sign a pledge in support of the Asian American community (see below). New York Life Chief Diversity Officer Kathleen Navarro helped craft the pledge, and Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas was one of the first signees on March 17.
“We are collectively raising our voice to condemn this racial violence and remain committed to supporting our Asian American colleagues in any way possible.” -Ted Mathas, Chairman and CEO
“I am outraged by the growing racism and vicious hate crimes that have taken place in recent months and I want to say to our Asian American employees, agents, and communities that New York Life stands with you,” says Mathas. “We are collectively raising our voice to condemn this racial violence and remain committed to supporting our Asian American colleagues in any way possible.”
#STOPASIANHATE on March 26
In New York City, U.S. Congress Representative Grace Meng has organized a virtual action day on March 26. She has asked member companies of the business organization Partnership for New York City, including New York Life, to participate by speaking out on social media against anti-Asian prejudice and violence using the hashtag #STOPASIANHATE.
Asian Americans make up more than 16 percent of the population of New York City, including many thousands of small business owners and essential workers. They have suffered doubly during the pandemic, as victims of economic loss as well as abuse. Last year, 28 Asian American New Yorkers were victims of serious bias attacks, and the surge in violent crime against Asian Americans has continued in 2021.
A CEO Pledge
The recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans, including the targeting of elderly members of the Asian American community, in a number of cities in America is extremely troubling.
This racist and hateful conduct has been a reminder of the deep-seated, systemic divisions that have plagued not just the Asian American community, but other underrepresented groups.
We strongly condemn these incidents and want to work with the Asian American community to be part of the solution and to be a visible ally with Asian Americans and other underrepresented groups.
We oppose all forms of racism and commit to supporting Asian Americans and other underrepresented communities by working with corporate leadership, training employees on unconscious bias, consult AABDC’s recommendations, and leveraging resources developed through advocates such as the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion.
We stand in unity with Asian Americans and all underrepresented communities and pledge our support to eradicate racism and promote fairness and justice in our society.
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