Though violence against the Asian Pacific Islander American community has been rampant as of late, the reality is that erasure and hate towards the community has existed far before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s long overdue that we finally be seen. That important message is amplified in a beautiful ad in the May 8 issue of The New York Times, brought to life by Rise, a civil rights accelerator that empowers people to pen their own civil rights; RUN AAPI, a nonprofit committed to empowering Asian Americans in both the political and cultural space; and Amplifier, a nonprofit design lab.
Alongside a powerful illustration of Rise’s founder, Amanda Nguyen, by Shepard Fairey, the ad reads, “I Am an American,” calling for people to take a pledge to increase APIA visibility across various sectors, including business, sports, and philanthropy. As written on the page, “We are front-line workers, doctors, teachers, public servants, neighbors. We’ve built this country’s railroads, fed its people, cared for patients, and created some of its most innovative technology. From our excellence to our struggles — our stories are your stories — woven into the fabric of the American dream.” Yet our community continues to fight for visibility and representation, which is why these organizations have formed the AAPI Visibility Pledge, a campaign dedicated to denouncing violence against and elevating the voices of the APIA community.
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