An open letter from FLY’s President and CEO, Ali Knight, expressing our support for everyone affected by the discrimination and violence against the AAPI communities.

At this moment, our attention is on the national rise of hate crimes against the Asian, Asian American, and the Pacific Islander communities.

The act of terror in Atlanta against Asian American massage workers is another example of how the most vulnerable among us are victimized by the villainous and unchecked force of racism in this country.

In fact, there has been a rise in incidents all over the country; the far majority of the incidents were against women. This form of racism is not new, but has clearly risen to crisis levels.

This is not just a national problem. It hits home at FLY in more ways than one. Last month, a staff member in our San Mateo County office received a call from a school counselor requesting support for a Pacific Islander youth in one of our law classes. He was afraid to leave his home for fear that he could become the victim of a racially motivated attack. Others including teachers and FLY volunteers also reached out to us about how to support young people.

We provided support to our youth and partners in the moment and referrals to local organizations including Asian Americans for Community Involvement and Asian American Recovery Services. We’re also exploring ways to use our Law Program for ongoing conversations with youth about hate crimes and how to protect themselves.

Right now, we can all learn more and support organizations such as StopAAPIHate (@stopaapihate), which tracks incident reports and publishes safety tips and reports about the scope of the problem. Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta has also published a statement that you can sign onto.

We’ll continue listening to our youth and partners in order to better understand how FLY can step up. And we want to learn from our community as well. I invite you to send any and all thoughts to info@flyprogram.org.

And as this is yet another battle in the fight against racial injustice, I invite you to read about FLY’s history of working for racial justice and about the focus of our future work.

Lastly, to all in our FLY Family who are directly affected by the violence, please take care of yourselves. Know that we have your back, we stand with you, and we will stand up against injustice and offer ourselves as protection against threats to your safety.

In solidarity and primed for action,

Ali Knight

FLY’s President & CEO