Contact: Carissa Villacorta
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For Immediate Release
NaFFAA Celebrates Biden Signing COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act
Washington, DC (May 21, 2021) - The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) celebrates the signing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law by President Biden. This important legislation encourages accountability for government agencies and law enforcement, promotes community-based strategies to combat the root causes of hate crimes, and ensures that data on these crimes are gathered accurately.
Access to data and other information is essential to understanding the widespread impact of anti-Asian hate crimes. By supporting state and local governments in funding for tracking programs and the creation of hate crime hotlines, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act ensures that our communities can continue to report these crimes with access to adequate resources throughout the process, such as online reporting. On the federal level, the bill also designates the Department of Justice to have a dedicated employee for expediting the review of hate crimes.
NaFFAA National Chairman Brendan Flores comments, “With the numbers of hate crimes against the AAPI community reaching historic levels in 2020, and continuing to rise throughout this year, it is critical that we efficiently and accurately gather information to best serve the affected communities. The dedicated position for processing reports by the Department of Justice, established online reporting in state, local and tribal agencies, and data disaggregation are all ways to ensure that the response to hate crimes in America is swift and just.”
“This rise in violence against the AAPI community has left many in fear and uncertainty. Going forward, we must continue to fight against the negative stereotypes and combat harmful disinformation on COVID-19. These types of crimes are not new, but we must continue to find solutions that address the root causes of bias and hate in our country,” he added.
There is still much work to be done. Groups like Stop AAPI Hate, as well as NaFFAA’s Hate Crime Task Force are working within our community to provide resources for victims of hate incidents and hate crimes. We must continue to address these in a way that provides support, necessary resources to victims, and a challenge to the root causes of hate against the AAPI and other marginalized communities.
NaFFAA acknowledges the historical and long-standing violence that has not only affected AAPI and Filipino communities, but also Black, Indigenous, and other communities of Color. We seek to unite all of our communities in the fight against discrimination, hate, and institutional racism. Raising awareness of the alarming rise in hate crimes has brought communities together in support of victims and empowered thousands of people to take a stand against AAPI hate. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is one major step in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our communities.
The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization. Established in 1997, NaFFAA promotes the welfare and well-being of the four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States. NaFFAA's vision is to serve as the voice of all Filipinos and Filipino Americans by uniting, engaging, and empowering diverse individuals and community organizations through leadership development, civic engagement, and national advocacy.