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Kaiser to Distribute $300K in Hawai´i to Combat Asian Hate

July 13, 2021, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated July 15, 11:08 AM
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Kasier Permanente on Monday, July 12, announced an initiative to combat racism against people of Asian descent.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, harmful rhetoric and physical abuse against Asians and Asian Americans has increased in both the number of incidences and public awareness of the problem. In 2020, Asian Americans self-reported more than 3,000 hate incidents. With each attack, fear ripples through these communities.

In response, Kaiser Permanente said in a release that it has joined with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC to establish the Stop Anti-Asian Hate and Violence Initiative.

The initiative supports three strategies aimed at preventing further racist acts, providing interventions, and promoting healing. These strategies include community education, mobilization, and coalition-building; direct services, mental health, and organizational sustainability; and advocacy and organizational leadership.

Kaiser Permanente and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, a national nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. that advocates for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and underserved allied communities, worked together to select a diverse set of 33 community-based organizations working in communities Kaiser Permanente serves. A $3.6 million grant, to be distributed through Kaiser Permanente’s fund at the East Bay Community Foundation, plus national and local expertise provided by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, will support the work of Asian American and Pacific Islander community-serving organizations in meeting needs by expanding services.

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In Hawai´i, three organizations will receive $100,000 each to further their work to counter hate crimes, hate incidents, and discrimination.

  • We Are Oceania will create and offer acculturation training for service providers to learn how to better work with Micronesian individuals and families. They will also support the Youth Empowerment Services Center offering financial literacy, college prep and information about internships.
  • Domestic Violence Action Center will conduct community outreach and education to increase awareness of violence against the women and children in the COFA community, as well as provide services to survivors.
  • Pacific Resources for Education and Learning will use the funds for research and data collection. Surveying the local Micronesian/Marshallese communities to determine education, health, and employment needs that can guide near and long-term policy work.
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“As a health care organization, we understand that it’s virtually impossible for people to achieve emotional or physical well-being when subjected to violence, racism, and other forms of discrimination,” said Dr. John Yang, president and medical director, Hawai´i Permanente Medical Group. “After witnessing the unacceptable increase in assaults, harassment, and hate crimes directed at people of Asian descent on the mainland and elsewhere, we’re grateful to partner with three local organizations working to uplift and support our inclusive communities.”

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