What Happened in Atlanta: Responses and Resources

Edited by Katie Constantine & Kathryn Cooperman

Trigger Warning: this post discusses a recent mass shooting event, racism, and misogyny. 


On March 17, 2021 a gunman entered several massage parlours in the Atlanta area and killed eight people, notably six Asian American women. First and foremost, my thoughts go out to the families of the victims and the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Georgia and beyond. What happened is the escalation of what’s been happening since way before the beginning of the COVID pandemic. 

COVID-related racism is something I have first-hand experience with. Last February, I coughed and was able to clear an entire car on the Boston Red Line. Last March, while walking my puppy, someone yelled at me from a car “Don’t eat her!!” When we first moved here, someone asked us if we wanted our picture taken downtown because they thought we were Chinese tourists. There’s a whole group of restaurants and grocery stores that we don’t go to because we will get stared down or stared at. Thankfully everything I’ve experienced is very mild in the scheme of things. I never doubted my ability to walk away from a situation like those (which I wanted to stress is so incredibly different compared to the racism experienced by our Black and Brown siblings). 

But it doesn’t take away from the fact that they happened. 

This is a truly traumatic time for many Asian Americans, but while it’s still fresh in the public’s mind, I want to refer our readers to what I think are poignant responses from the AAPI community to the mass shooting as well as some educational resources. Rest assured that AAPI representation has always, and will remain a key tenet of our work. 

AAPI History Month is coming up soon and, while this is no doubt a time to educate on serious systemic issues, I hope that we can share the joy and creativity of our community and not just the trauma. 


Responses: 

“Racism, misogyny, and the shootings in Georgi‪a‬” from Vox’s Today Explained podcast

Georgia State Senator (and fellow Wellesley alum) Michelle Au and author Kate Manne discuss the shootings.

Late Night with Seth Meyers writer Karen Chee calls on news outlets to denounce the shooting as a hate crime and provides an overview of anti-Asian legislation since 1900. 

Daniel Dae Kim Congressional testimony on the escalation of Anti-Asian hate crimes since the beginning of COVID-19. This is his second testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee. Watch his previous testimony on diversity in media here (starting at 1:44:54).


Educational Resources: 

Stop AAPI Hate is a nonprofit organization that was formed specifically in response to the uptick in anti-Asian crimes during the COVID19 pandemic and, in addition to providing resources, allows users to report hate crimes. 

New York Magazine compiled a list of the survivor fundraisers and community restoration and enrichment organizations. 

PBS’ series Asian Americans is a five-part documentary on the history of identity, contributions, and challenges of Asian Americans. 

Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment from Hollaback! and Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a free, interactive training on how to intervene in a situation, while maintaining your own safety. NB: Registration for sessions is required.


These resources are just the beginning of what is undoubtedly a complex conversation that will require more nuance in the days to come. We welcome any additional resources you may think will help our community keep moving forward.

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