Meeting point: 10:45am to 11am in front of Holy Cross Church, 329 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
What: Brief remarks from partner community members and Commissioner Malalis, then do a short business walk to distribute literature about the Commission to area businesses. Literature includes posters from the “I Still Believe in NYC” campaign with artwork by CCHR Artist in Residence Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya that affirms AAPI communities (see below link). We will also be distributing literature about how to report bias incidents and discrimination to law enforcement.
We understand that this event is taking place on Good Friday, a religious holiday observed by a lot of Filipino Catholics and other religious groups. Given that the woman who was attacked was on her way to church, and that we are reaching out to a house of worship as a partner, the faith component is an essential messaging through-line.
Finally, we want to emphasize that the focus of this Day of Visibility is to foster community building and restore a sense of trust and safety for Asian New Yorkers living and working in the area. As such, we do not plan on having elected officials speak at the event.
Additional Resources from the Commission on Human Rights:
The New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs, NYC Census 2020, and the Queens Borough President’s Office are hosting an API Heritage Month Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, May 5 at 3:00pm.
The month of May serves as Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, and is a time where we recognize the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. As a City, we recognize the need to share resources with API communities, and to create a feedback loop to better understand how the City can be of more support during this time.
This virtual town hall will give attendees an opportunity to get updates on initiatives and work being led by New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs, the Department of Consumer & Worker Protection, the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, NYC Census 2020, and the Queens Borough President’s Office. As you hear from senior officials within these agencies and offices, this virtual town hall will also be an opportunity for community members to share issues and concerns that are related to the work.
On April 8, 2020, the New York Daily News published an op-ed entitled “Bias, group hate and the coronavirus pandemic,” authored by Deborah Lauter, Executive Director of the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
The op-ed highlights the startling increase of bias incidents and hate crimes related to COVID-19 being reported by Asians and Asian Americans across the country in recent weeks. It notes that during times of crisis, societies are susceptible to fear. In the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, that fear has manifested itself in the form of mistrust, hatred, and division on a national level. The authors point to several examples of similar societal reactions in history during times of national and international crises. They encouraged readers to learn from history’s mistakes and stressed the need to support the Chinese and other Asian communities that are being scapegoated and increasingly living in fear of being targeted in the current environment.