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'We Are Significant': Resources in Response to Violence Against Asian Americans

By Jada Leng

This article originally appeared on PBS.org

When my colleagues asked me how I was doing this week, I pretended it was in reference to a particularly busy work period or to life in general during COVID.

“Oh I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”

But things are not fine, and I am not fine. Eight people were murdered Tuesday in the Atlanta area, six of them were Asian women. What was the motivation? Why were they killed? For being Asian, for being women, for being Asian women? I searched for the answers because I, too, am an Asian woman.

I haven’t wanted to talk about it, and I still don’t really want to talk about it. I know that if I acknowledge it, I have to go “there.” It’s not that I’m numb or in denial, I’m just not ready to share deeply personal experiences with anyone, not even with myself.

Congress held the first hearing on Asian American violence in decades on March 18 and when I heard Daniel Dae Kim testify and describe an experience he had with a pollster who told him Asian Americans were considered statistically insignificant, I was reminded of the five-part miniseries he narrated for PBS: Asian Americans.

I opened the PBS app and started to stream. I felt like my family was talking to me and trading stories about their experiences. I was comforted, we are significant. It was the hug I needed.

If you, too, are hurting, needing comfort or are curious to learn, more videos similar to Asian Americans are available for streaming below or on the PBS Video app. Additionally, resources to learn how to fight violence against Asian Americans are available.

It's OK if you're not ready to talk yet either.

RESOURCES FOR MINNESOTANS

You can report discrimination with an online form processed by MN Department of Human Rights.

Here are the City of Saint Paul's guidelines for reporting crimes of bias or hate.

The City of Minneapolis has a new hotline people can call to report hate crimes: Call 311 from inside Minneapolis, or 612-673-3000 from outside the city.

VIDEOS TO WATCH

 


Born in Korea and raised in Willmar, Minn., Layne Fostervold felt a similar urge to reconnect with his Korean heritage. After finding his biological mother, Fostervold moved to Korea to help her recover from a bout with breast cancer. But on a recent visit to Minnesota, his two mothers – one biological, the other adopted – met for the first time. Don’t miss this story from One Greater Minnesota reporter Kaomi Goetz.

Laura Johnson had always envisioned raising her own family in her hometown of Duluth, Minn. After all, the northern city on the shores of Lake Superior provided a backdrop for many warm and nurturing years growing up. The youngest of three children, she was only occasionally reminded that she had been adopted as an infant from a world away, in Korea. She's one of a group of Korean adoptees who have found a sense of identity and connection in northern Minnesota.

Grandmothers often play a critical role in passing down the important flavors and rituals of their heritage, a source of influence that’s also inspired Japanese-American Chef John Sugimura’s recipe for Cured & Seared Salmon on Crispy Rice.

Jada Leng Read More
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