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How Would You Respond if You Witnessed a Hate Crime?

Trump’s Anti-Asian racist remarks, spreading misinformation about the coronavirus, and making racist references to the coronavirus such as calling it the “kung flu” have deeply impacted the Asian American community, in particular, we have seen a rise in hate crimes targeted towards Asian Americans.


A few weeks ago, as I was listening to the news, I heard a description of a Taiwanese American woman, Catherine Shieh, describing her experience of a racially motivated attack by a man as she was waiting for the train. Not only was the incident itself horrific but it was what followed next that was deeply disturbing -- no one helped the woman during the incident or after. Instead, the woman had to walk by herself to a store to seek help. Find the full story here:


After listening to this many questions went through my head. Why did no one step in? Why didn’t anyone check in on her after? How would I react in this situation?


So how do we not stand by? How can we help ourselves be better prepared when we witness violence being perpetrated?


Catherine Shieh is now the anti-hate coordinator at Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago which provides a Bystander Intervention training to address that very question – how can I respond if I witness a hate incident?


On their website, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago describes their one-hour, interactive online training in which training participants will:

  • learn about the types of disrespect and dangers that Asian and Asian American folks are facing right now and throughout history — from microaggressions to violence.

  • understand what to look for in scenarios and the positive impact that bystander intervention has on individuals and communities.

  • talk through five strategies (5Ds) for intervention and how to prioritize your own safety while intervening.

  • practice using the 5Ds so that participants are confident intervening the next time they witness Anti-Asian harassment.

If you would like to get further involved here are three additional ways:


1. Donate

2. Volunteer

3. They are hiring

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