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Addressing the Rise of Anti-Asian Racism and Supporting Asian-Canadian Community Members

March 22, 2021

Anti-Asian racism has been on the rise since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and media outlets are reporting incidences of violence and discrimination similar to those that occurred during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Fight COVID Racism has been collecting reports of attacks on Asian Canadians, and as of today they have collected reports of 856 separate incidents.[1]CTV News has reported alarming increases in Anti-Asian hate crimes over the course of 2020: Vancouver reported a rise of 717%, Ottawa 57%, and Montréal experienced a spike of 30 incidents of Anti-Asian racism. 

Anti-Asian Racism Chart

StatsCan chart depicting the increase in harassment based on race, ethnicity, or skin colour since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.[2]

PeerWorks denounces these acts of hate and racism, and stands with all those who have been harmed by Anti-Asian racism. 

These hate crimes have detrimental effects on both the physical and mental health of Asian Canadian communities, [3]especially when combined with the financial and social challenges of the government’s lockdown initiatives. We want to highlight the work of organizations who are supporting Asian American communities during this time of even greater need. 

While Anti-Asian racism has been more visible since the COVID-19 outbreak, it has existed before and will continue to exist afterwards. It’s important to address discrimination when you encounter it and continue to support the work of Asian individuals and organizations after we have all moved back into green zones. Continue supporting their businesses and check in on your Asian-Canadian friends and family members. 

Thank you to Luyang Xie for recommending resources for this blog post.