United Against Hate
By Trâm Phi, DocuSign SVP, General Counsel and Executive Sponsor of DocuSign Pan-Asian Voices for Equity (PAVE)
Last month, our Pan-Asian Voices for Equity (PAVE) employee resource group hosted a Lunar New Year celebration for the Year of the Ox. During this event, I enjoyed listening to stories from our panelists about how their cultures celebrated the holiday as it reminded me of my own fond childhood memories from Vietnam. Though Lunar New Year calls for new beginnings, good fortune, luck and celebration with loved ones, it pains me to address a particular topic that has negatively impacted the Asian and Pacific Islander community: the surge in violent, anti-Asian attacks around the world. Crimes targeting Asians have increased 150% in major US cities, and in the UK police data suggests a rise of 300% in hate crimes toward Asian individuals in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
Though attacks targeting Asian individuals are not new, the increase in hate crimes and racism directed toward the Asian and Pacific Islander community since the pandemic began has not been widely covered by mainstream media until very recently. Unfortunately, this is not entirely unexpected as historically in the UK, people of Asian descent have historically faced discrimination and racism,which has often been downplayed and less recognised.
I am heartened by the response of my colleagues at DocuSign, who have reached out to PAVE members to voice messages of unity and support for the Asian community. As a company, we are offering a double-match campaign for those who wish to contribute to organisations in solidarity to #StopAsianHate. We also are making corporate donations to three specific organisations supporting the Asian and Pacific Islander community and that are actively working to end racism:
- Chinese for Affirmative Action: Stop AAPI Hate
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice
- Asian Mental Health Collective
I ask that we continue to remain strong as a community, take active steps to be united at this time against all forms of hate and practice allyship by educating ourselves and encouraging others to do the same. If you are looking for resources, information or ways you can take action I encourage you to start with the organisations listed above. Remember that empathetic gestures make a difference in helping colleagues, friends and family feel understood, valued and included.
In the words of Fred Korematsu, “If you have the feeling that something is wrong, don’t be afraid to speak.” Let’s all take the time to understand how we can combat racism. Let’s choose the path of bias interrupters instead of bystanders.