AG Rosenblum Commemorates Asian-American and Pacific Island Heritage Month

May 20, 2020
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Oregon DOJ’s Hate and Bias Crimes Hotline Reports Increase in Calls from AAPI Community

May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a month to honor the diversity and contributions of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. To commemorate the month, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum calls on Oregonians to sign the statewide anti-discrimination “Call to Action” to support Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asians, and those perceived as Asian who have been targeted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, Attorney General Rosenblum and the Attorney General’s Steering Committee Against Hate Crimes issued the Call to Action, which calls on Oregonians to condemn hate-fueled actions, rhetoric and bias toward the AAPI communities. The Call to Action was signed by all five statewide elected officials—AG Rosenblum, Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Bev Clarno, Treasurer Tobias Read, and Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle. It was also signed by many other state and local leaders, more than 70 community groups and over 1,775 individuals.

“Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is even more significant this year in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our Asian community members are experiencing xenophobia and stigma in grocery stores, workplaces, and other places of business,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “Asian-American Heritage Month is an opportunity for us to reflect on the wonderful contributions of the Asian-community in Oregon and honor their resiliency in the face of injustices that did not start with—but continue—during this pandemic. Let’s make sure we reach out to our Asian friends, family and community who may be scared or experiencing discrimination right now. We will not allow hate to thrive in Oregon, or anywhere else.”

The statewide Call to Action reads: “We, the undersigned, stand together, calling upon all Oregonians to call attention to these harms, and to support the inalienable rights of our Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities across the state, who must always be treated with respect and must remain safe during this unprecedented pandemic that affects us all.”

The Oregon DOJ’s Bias Incident and Hate Crimes Hotline is experiencing reported increase in the number of bias incidents and hate crimes directed toward AAPI communities. Each bias reporter is supported and given options for ongoing community support, agency referrals to help respond to or address the bias, and reporting to law enforcement. The Oregon Department of Justice remains committed to answering these calls with trained and trauma-informed staff to ensure all Oregonians can live, work, and recreate safely, free from hate.

  • In March there were 41 reports to the hotline from Oregonians, 9 of which reported bias against the AAPI community.
  • In April, there were 61 complaints to the hotline, 13 of which reported bias against the AAPI community.

Any member of the Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Asian community who experiences bias, and any other victim of or witness to a bias or hate incident, can visit the Oregon DOJ’s website at www.StandAgainstHate.Oregon.Gov or call 1-844-924-BIAS (2427) to report an incident and talk with trained staff. Hate and bias incidents are any hostile expression that may be motivated by another person’s perceived race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. Bias incidents may be verbal, physical, or visual.

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and serves as the state’s law firm. The Oregon DOJ advocates for and protects all Oregonians, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and seniors.