6 Ways to Support Asian Americans in Philadelphia Beyond AAPI Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. During this time, we recognize and celebrate the Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success. There are many ways we can work together to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month throughout the year. If you live in Philadelphia, here are six ways you can support Asian Americans and fight against the historical and recent acts of AAPI hate, provided by The Philadelphia Citizen:

1. Support organizations supporting Asian American residents in Philly

Organizations in Philadelphia include: Woori CenterVietLeadAsian Americans UnitedAPI PAModero & CoCambodian Association of Greater PhiladelphiaPejuangAPALA PhiladelphiaRed Umbrella AllianceAsian Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation.

2. Intervene

It can be intimidating to be more than a passive bystander—but we must interrupt, document, and say something when we see someone being harassed. Check out this guide to bystander intervention that includes what is called the “5 Ds”: Distract; Delegate; Delay; Direct; and Document.

3. Support Asian youth

Programs like the Chinese Youth Organizing Project and Our Roots Youth are programs dedicated to the welfare of Asian youth.

4. Support SEAMAAC’s civic engagement work.

The South Philly nonprofit feeds hundreds of people a week. It has also led voter registration drives, community education programs and was able to get the majority of the people they serve to fill out the 2020 census.

5. Vote

Always do it, including the municipal primary. Look for people who represent your values, whatever they look like, and hold them accountable.

6. Connect with Chinatown Elders.

Prolonged isolation is causing a mental health crisis for many older people separated from family, especially those who also experience a language barrier. Asian Arts Initiative and On Lok House have partnered to create “Picture Pals,” connecting seniors with community members through art. All you need to get started is a drawing, a stamp and an envelope. Sign up here.

Immigrants are an integral part of our diverse city, both culturally and economically. Of the millions of entrepreneurs in Philadelphia, Asian Americans are disproportionately represented, owning approximately 11 percent of the city’s small businesses.

Visit The Philadelphia Citizen for more tips, and the U.S. Library of Congress Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month page for more history and events this month.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

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