How to support the Asian-American community in Boston

From nonprofits and AAPI restaurants to stores and small businesses.

Tuesday a mass shooting at two massage parlors in Atlanta killed eight, including six Asian women. Conversations and protests erupted across the country, drawing attention to the telling reality of anti-Asian hate crimes. This violence serves as a tragic peak for anti-Asian sentiment this year with notions of the “Chinese” COVID-19 virus, and in centuries past with legislation like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

According to a report by a non-profit organization Stop the hate AAPISince last March, approximately 3,800 hate incidents have been committed against Asian Americans, with women reporting 2.3 times more than men. In Massachusetts alone, Stop AAPI Hate has received 67 reports and, according to The Wall Street JournalBoston is one of a number of US cities where anti-Asian hate crimes increased 149% in 2020. However, as the Stop AAPI Hate website mentions, it’s important to remember that these statistics don’t represent only a fraction of the incidents that actually happen.

To support the local Boston AAPI community and help advocate for better treatment, there are many ways you can get involved. For some ideas on how to get started, check out our list below. You can also follow Stop AAPI Hate on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for up-to-date facts and statistics, more ways to donate, and easy access to educational resources.

If you have witnessed acts of hate in your neighborhood, Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) has a online form to report such incidents. It’s simple and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

Donate your time and money to a local nonprofit or advocacy group

Thursday March 25, Massachusetts Commission of the United States of Asia hold a free virtual town hall on Anti-Asian Racism, with more information on how the Asian-American community is organizing against racism and how you can get involved in the fight. You can also register for a free training session on spectator intervention organized by Hollaback!, an organization that offers workshops and educational tools to end harassment, on March 24, April 6, April 7, and April 8.

There are a number of organizations across Boston that you can contribute to, including Asian American Civic Association (AACA), Asian Community Development Corporation, Asian Sisters Participating in Achieving Excellence (ASPIRE), Asian women for health, Boston Asian Youth Essential Service (YES), Chinese Progressive Association, Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, NAAAP Boston, South Asian Workers Center, and VietAID.

Boston-based nonprofit AACA helps limited English speaking and economically disadvantaged community members achieve financial independence, provides opportunities for local volunteers. The organization is currently looking for people to help teach computer classes through the Mulan Society, which offers workshops to help Asian women develop basic skills and confidence during difficult transitions. There are also tutoring and internship opportunities still available in addition to open administrative positions. For those interested, you can fill out a online volunteering form or contact [email protected] to learn more.

Support Chinatown Small Businesses and Restaurants

In a recent article shared by WBURBoston’s Chinatown – which includes diverse AAPI cuisines and cultures – has suffered noticeably throughout the pandemic, shutting down small businesses and restaurants while leaving working-class immigrants jobless. To help support local Chinatown businesses, check out Visit Chinatown’s business directory for ideas, with a long list of restaurants in the area, including Gourmet Dumpling House, Happy lamb hotpot, Kaze Shabu Shabu, Shojo, and Shabu Zen.

You can also check out local bakeries like Bao Bao Bakery and May cake or genuine supermarkets, including Jia Ho Supermarket and Ho Toy Noodle.

For more indoor dining options or to grab takeout from other neighborhoods, you can visit the South End’s Myers + Chang, Kendall Square’s PAGU, Fenway’s Mei Mei, Brookline’s Six Po Hot Pot, Longwood’s King noodles, Brighton’s Our Zone or MDM noodlesand Allston’s Mala Restaurant or Shanghai Gate to name a few must-have and satisfying options.

If you’re looking for other small businesses to support, check out Corner of Essex craft store for accessories, jewelry, gifts and souvenirs or 8090 hotel bookstore for many different Chinese titles in a variety of subjects.

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Jillian hammell is a contributor for Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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