2022 Equity Challenge Day 18: The Rise in Anti-Asian Hate and Inequity during the COVID-19 Pandemic

“But I do want to say to our Asian American community, we stand with you and understand how this has frightened and shocked and outraged. … None of us should ever be silent in the face of any form of hate.”

Kamala Harris

Vice President

More than 10,000 anti-Asian incidents have been reported across the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks and responds to racially motivated hate crimes toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). 

While recent attacks have garnered national attention, incidents ranging from verbal harassment to physical assault and murder are not a new problem for many people of AAPI descent.  

Asian Americans have been regularly scapegoated during periods of national duress, according to comprehensive reporting from The Harvard Gazette.  

As early as 1871, a Los Angeles mob attacked and murdered 16 Chinese people in Chinatown. The incident was a precursor to growing anti-Asian sentiment that would eventually lead to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.  

During World War II, about 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into internment following the attack on Pearl Harbor. After the Vietnam War, Southeast Asian refugees faced discrimination and hate. And in Highland Park, in 1982, a Chinese American man named Vincent Chin was beaten to death in a vicious hate crime. 

Even AAPI men, women and children who have not been directly impacted can be affected by the trauma surrounding these and more recent incidents. The Asian American Health Initiative offers a range of resources to address the mental health impact on these populations.




  • Asian American Pacific islander Heritage Month takes place each May. Read a story or find a recording from a virtual event to celebrate and honor Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. (10 minutes). 
  • Learn how you can help stop acts of hate toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities by visiting: StopAAPIHate (5 minutes). 

Reflect And Share

  1. How did today’s challenge make you feel? What is something you learned today?
  2. Have you ever experienced an act of hatred or violence based on your background or ethnicity?
  3. What do you think can be done to prevent future attacks against Asian Americans as the pandemic continues to impact us all?


Start the conversation. Send the tweet. Share your story. Make the Facebook post. Sharing what you learn and experience with your family, friends, and co-workers is the first step toward allyship.

Join thousands in conversation by using hastag #EquityChallenge or #TakeTheEC22