We understand that this is a difficult time for many people in our Commonwealth and around the world. Our staff compiled a directory of resources and information to keep our communities up to date about COVID-19. With new information circulating the internet, and social media on a daily basis, we hope this living document can serve as a trusted resource to our communities in need.
Last updated: May 27, 2020
Join the #IAmNotAVirus portrait campaign!
Here is how you can participate:
Option 1: Sign up on their website
Option 2: Fill out AAC’s Google Form and we will be happy to send it over to Moses and Mike for you!
Follow them at @iamnotavirus.info on Instagram for more info and to be apart of this movement!
“I am a father, a gardener, and a storyteller.”
Hello! My name is @mikekeo and I am the one behind the camera. I began this initiative with my friend @mosesafarrow
A 13-year-old girl on the radio talks about being bullied at school; they mock her and call her Corona. My sister-in-law, an adult, was harassed while buying groceries by someone accusing her of being a carrier of COVID-19.
On a recent morning, before sending our older son off to Pre-K, we reminded him that he was as American as anyone else and that he belongs – just in case. Fortunately, as a photographer, my family and I have interacted personally with people from all different backgrounds, who treat us with love and respect. I truly believe most of us are guided by our better angels. But even so, the Asian American community must be visible and use our voices at this moment in time.
In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak we are taking portraits of Asian Americans to dispel the racism and ignorance surrounding the virus. The series is titled #IAMNOTAVIRUS. Viruses are not race specific and drawing divisions in a time of crisis is unwise and foolish. This portrait series aims to show that not only do Asian Americans belong but they are deeply rooted into the fabric of America.”
#COVIDTalks with the AAC
During the time of quarantine, we have begun a series of COVID19 talks with guests on Facebook live. Topics consist of the imminent effects to our AAPI communities. Stay tuned for our upcoming video interviews.
An Interview on mental health with Dr. Mabel Lam
April 7, 2020
We are launching a Facebook live video series to interview a variety of leaders in our community to discuss different issues. The first of our series began with Dr. Mabel S. Lam, PhD who is currently our longest serving Commissioner. Dr. Lam discussed the mental health effects surrounding social distancing, quarantining, loved ones getting sick, xenophobia, and how to cope/self-care.
An Interview with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Civil Rights Division
May 8, 2020
Continuing our video interview series, we had a conversation with the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office. We discussed the role of the Civil Rights Division and how it supports the AAPI community through their resources. Their resources include: how to report Anti-Asian hate crimes, access to multilingual forms, and building the trust between the AAPI community and law enforcement.
An Interview with the Boston Teachers Union President, Jessica Tang
May 22, 2020
We continued our #CovidTalks series with President of the Boston Teachers Union, Jessica Tang, and AAC’s Executive Director, Jenny Chiang. We will be discussing how staff and faculty of our school systems can address anti-Asian violence and bullying in light of today’s current events. We must do our best to protect AAPI students and stop the spread of hate in our institutions.
AAC Public Statements
March 9, 2020
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American Commission will not tolerate racism, xenophobia, and bigotry towards the Asian American community due to fear-mongering and misinformation about the coronavirus (COVID-19). Local Asian establishments have taken a huge hit economically, and there has been a surge in verbal insults and violent attacks against Asian Americans across the country. While we understand that it is human nature to fear the unknown, targeting and discriminating against a specific group only fuels the biggest epidemic of all—racism.
In an effort to prevent further mishappenings, the Commission encourages our communities to stand up against such discrimination and emphasize the importance proper hygiene rather than acting out insensitively against others. Additionally, we highly encourage the media to dispel the spread of misinformation. Lastly, we urge our public officials to invest in emergency response and testing efforts to prepare for this evolving situation. We recognize that this is an ever-changing situation but it remains crucial to have factual information on the virus and to practice good hygiene as one would with the flu.
State of Massachusetts website about the Coronavirus: https://www.mass.gov/guides/information-on-the-outbreak-of-2019-novel- coronavirus-covid-19
Facts on the Coronavirus: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Report hate crimes: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/protections-against-hate-crimes
March 27, 2020
Why Congressman Moulton’s Apology Must Be Accompanied By Action
Earlier this week, MA Congressman Seth Moulton (D-6th District) became the lone Democratic lawmaker to place his support behind H. Res 907 which blamed the Chinese government for the COVID-19 crisis. Over a dozen Republican members of Congress joined him.
We condemn the ill-conceived and ill-timed resolution. H. Res 907 puts at risk the dignity and well being of AAPIs in the US and abroad just as our communities are experiencing escalating hostilities including verbal and physical attacks as bigots and racists look for a scapegoat for COVID-19.
We demand elected officials refrain from exploiting a global pandemic for the purpose of staking a foreign policy claim.
In the wake of a significant backlash, Congressman Moulton recently released a statement withdrawing his name from the resolution and offered an
apology. While his withdrawal of support for the resolution is significant, he must work to convince remaining co-signers to do the same. Just as he led the drive to round up co-sponsors, he must lead the drive to recall the resolution and mitigate the harm, injury and distress he’s inflicted upon our communities.
Otherwise, the Congressman can keep his apology.
Get Some Dim Sum & support Local Businesses
In a strong effort to dispel the fears around the Coronavirus, Commissioners Nina Liang, Philjay Solar, Sam Hyun, and Program Director Jessica ‘Jay’ Wong spent their Sunday mornings for the #GetSomeDimSumTour at local China Pearl in Chinatown and Quincy to support local Chinese businesses who have seen an economic decline since the outbreak.