Dear friends and community members,

The DCWaleDesi community platform and its sister platforms JerseyWaleDesi and PhillyWaleDesi stand with the AAPI community in remembering the lives lost on March 16th in Atlanta. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asians and Asian Americans have experienced a 150% increase in reported hate crimes.

We must acknowledge that these acts against AAPIs are not new and date back to Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which barred Chinese laborers from entering the United States. Even as recently as the 1980s, parts of Asia were blamed for the United States’ economic woes. 

As a model minority, it must be understood that sometimes racism against our community might not be as easy to see from the outside.

We must use and share resources from subcultures and nationalities within the Asian community, including South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), the National Federation fo Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), the Sikh American Legal Defense & Education Fund (SALDEF), and Empowered Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC).

We recognize that these recent events similar to the events last year and in recent years reflect the pattern of systemic failures. We further acknowledge that these deep-rooted injustices and discrimination will not disappear in the next days, weeks, or even years. We must not disregard the fact that there has been a notable increase of violent crimes and burglaries at both AAPI and South Asian-owned businesses even in the markets we serve – Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Nonetheless, we remain committed to serving as regional platforms created with the mission of promoting and fostering collaboration among creative South Asians, which is not just within our diaspora but also with other cultural diasporas.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, “what can we do?”

If you have any other actions or initiatives that you would share with our community, please email us.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any suggestions, thoughts, or ideas on how we can do better.

Sincerely,

Monica Ahuja and Jason Kazi | DCWaleDesi

Shipra Sharma | JerseyWaleDesi

Dhruvi Shah | PhillyWaleDesi

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