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CAA has assembled a packed lineup of Asian American influencers and leaders to discuss the wave of anti-Asian violence and hate that continues to sweep the country.
The 90-minute CAA Amplify Town Hall will take place online April 1 at 10 a.m. PT and is free to the public who register on the Amplify website.
Planning for the town hall actually began earlier this year, as graphic videos of attacks on Asian American elders began circulating throughout the community. According to CSU San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police increased 149 percent in 2020 and, since March of that year, Stop AAPI Hate has logged more than 3,800 anti-Asian incidents across the country. The March 16 shootings in and outside Atlanta, in which a gunman visited three Asian massage parlors and killed eight people, including six Asian women, “turbocharged” plans for the event.
“It brought everything into renewed urgency,” CAA Cultural Business Strategy Group co-head Kevin Lin tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We’d been seeing this continued rise in hate crimes, especially over the past year, and it hasn’t gotten any better. I had a personal moment where I was afraid to take the subway, and the lack of understanding about the history of anti-Asian violence is something that needed to be addressed at one point. It felt like this was a good time to do it.”
The virtual event will feature a number of topical conversations and panels that are still being finalized, but the confirmed participants include (*denotes CAA client): actors Chloe Bennet* (co-founder of political engagement organization RUN AAPI), Alan Kim*, Simu Liu*, Maulik Pancholy (co-founder of anti-bullying nonprofit Act to Change), Ashley Park*, Kelly Marie Tran* and DeWanda Wise*; Anurima Bhargava, president of strategic advisory firm Anthem of Us; writer and cultural strategist Jeff Chang; Cynthia Choi, founding partner of Stop AAPI Hate and co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action; singer-songwriter H.E.R.*; Bobby Hundreds*, co-founder of streetwear brand The Hundreds; playwright and screenwriter David Henry Hwang*; RUN AAPI co-founder Brad Jenkins; retired U.S. figure skater Michelle Kwan; The Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah*; U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles County); journalist Lisa Ling; Amanda Nguyen, founder and CEO of civil rights NGO Rise; Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time’s Up Foundation and Time’s Up Now; and comedian, writer and actor Jenny Yang.
“In putting together the town hall, it was important for us to be fully representative of the AAPI diaspora, but also specifically of the perspectives of individuals and activists who sit at the intersection of anti-Asian and sexist oppression,” says Lin, who adds that 8-year-old Minari breakout Kim’s inclusion is meant to represent “the next generation of Asian Americans that we’re trying to make a change for.”
Town hall attendees will receive an online toolkit with resources and recommended action items after the event.
CAA’s Amplify platform began in 2017 as an annual multicultural leadership summit. Last June, it hosted its first virtual town hall in the wake of a nationwide renewed focus on systemic racism and racial justice following the murder of George Floyd. Now, with eight casualties in Georgia and attacks on Asian Americans on the rise, the conversation continues.
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Jeriana San Juan