Anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise since the pandemic began. In its new report, Stop AAPI Hate tracked more than 3,795 anti-Asian hate incidents since March 19, 2020, with over 500 incidents in 2021 alone. The authors write:
“The number of hate incidents reported to our center represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination, and the types of discrimination they face.”
We know it’s extra tough to be a parent and teacher right now, whether you are feeling anger, grief, anxiety, fear, or exhaustion. It can be hard to talk to kids about racism and violence. Below is a roundup of resources we’ve found helpful when having these difficult conversations.
What can you do?
Parents: Have you talked to your children about race? How did the conversation go? Teacher Naomi O’Brien from Reading Like a Rockstar talks to her preschool-age son about identity and race. Watch with your kiddos, and get the conversation started.
Parents and teachers: Read books with your children and students that celebrate East Asian and Southeast Asian culture and highlight the Asian American experience. We love the nine books recommended by Shuli de la Fuente-Lau, creator of the Instagram @AsianLitforKids.
Shuli notes in her post, “As you consider what you can do in your family to combat Anti-Asian sentiments, consider expanding your bookshelves to include books that celebrate culture, promote Asian joy, and normalize the Asian American experience. Celebrating stories with Asian characters that are more than just stories about festivals and food, as well as including Asians in your anti-racist journey, is one way to combat racism, amplify the Asian American experience, and actively work towards a more equitable world.”
Teachers: In an article on Learning for Justice, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s educational inclusivity program, Liz Kleinrock shared the conversation she had with her students the day after the attack in Atlanta. She started her class with a survey of her sixth grade students and used their responses to facilitate a conversation. Read her article and take a look at the Asian American history and identity teaching resources she recommends.
Liz writes, “I encourage educators to remember that racial justice and anti-bias work exist beyond a Black and white binary. The Asian, Indigenous and Latinx communities must be a part of any work labeled ‘diverse,’ ‘culturally responsive’ and ‘anti-racist.’”
Teacher Naomi created resources for educators who want to support the Asian community and raise awareness with their students. Find printable activities, an e-book to read to your class, and a resource guide.
Learning, growing, and taking action together: At Khan Academy, we are deeply committed to doing the work to learn and grow as an organization so we can better serve the students who need us most. The fight against racism and injustice is far from over, and we must take action together. As a first step, we encourage you to explore the resources above and begin having important conversations today.