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Here's where Asian communities in Virginia can access support, and how others can help

Here's where Asian communities in Virginia can access support, and how others can help

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Fear, outrage, grief and unsurprised. These were among the feelings shared on social media platforms across Asian and Asian American communities after an Atlanta shooting that killed eight people in Asian-owned businesses. Six of them were Asian women, a group that has historically been objectified and harassed at higher rates yet made invisible.

Their names were Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Kim, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; and Yong Ae Yue, 63. The gunman, who is white, also killed Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, 33, and Paul Andre Michels, 54.

The raw emotions follow a year of intensified anti-Asian attacks that a Stop AAPI Hate report said jumped to 3,800 incidents throughout the pandemic. Almost 50 were in Virginia, though even this is likely an undercount.

For elders, the violence in the past year has been more pronounced. Among women, it’s only worsened. But this is not new.

Asian communities have been reeling from racism, misogyny and xenophobia ingrained in U.S. history for years. The Page Act of 1875 legally denied Chinese women entry into the U.S. The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act would later ban Chinese men. More than 100,000 Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during World War II.

Now, the day-to-day attacks — many toward immigrants in low-income areas — are captured on film after centuries of being ignored. For people who see their parents in those videos, their friends, themselves, that fear is an unspeakable heartbreak.

So the following is a compilation of national, state and local resources focused on lifting up and supporting Asian communities, fighting against anti-Asian violence and widening access to mental health care. Many work with low-income refugee and immigrant Asian families who are navigating poverty and language barriers.

They advocate for more representation in policy and to protect workers’ rights and Asian women, who have reported more than double the number of anti-Asian hate incidents from men in the past year.

These organizations are here to be a safe space for Asian Americans who need one and a source of donations for those who want to support their work and the communities they serve. The following list is nowhere near complete, and we will continue to update as recommendations come in.


The Center for Asian Pacific American Women: a national nonprofit dedicated to creating a community among Asian American and Pacific Islander women “through education, networking and mentorship.”

ASHA for women: a nonprofit that advocates and connects to resources for South Asian women and children and immigrant families in the Washington area impacted by domestic violence. The organizations also offer career counseling and employment advice. https://

The Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project: a project working to end gender violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities that provides services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Virginia, Maryland and Washington and empowers them to rebuild their lives.

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum: mission is to build power among AAPI women and girls “to gain full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities” and directly advocate for immigrant Asian women workers.

I Am Womankind: serves survivors of trauma and gender-based violence and helps them with housing assistance, offers legal immigration advice, provides English language classes and has a 24-hour helpline for 18-plus Asian languages and dialects. The agency began almost 40 years ago for Asian immigrant women on the East Coast.


Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO: a national labor union for AAPI workers who launched a COVID-19 fund and resources on worker protections during the pandemic. communityfund.html

LGBTQ organizations

Asian Pride Project: connects API LGBT organizations across the U.S. to share personal stories and culturally relevant, language specific resources for support.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance: develops leadership and capacity among local LGBT AAPI organizations to fight against homophobia and anti-immigrant bias.

Khush DC: an organization for South Asian LGBTQ communities in the D.C. area that offers peer support groups to discuss life, relationships and health.

Immigrant rights

Chinese for Affirmative Action: advocates to protect immigrant rights, push for language diversity and fight for racial justice among Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium: located in Annandale, the nonprofit organizes “Korean & Asian Americans toward social, economic and racial justice to build a national movement for social change” and has fought for pathways to citizenship for all immigrants.

Korean Community Service Center of Greater Washington: assists recent immigrants from Korea with interpretation and translation services and adjusting to the U.S., offers trauma-informed counseling and education programs.

Boat People SOS: helps Vietnamese refugees and immigrants adapt to the U.S. while providing academic support, access to health services and raising money to end human trafficking in Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia and more.

Legal defense

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: a national organization that has fought for Asian American civil rights and against anti-Asian violence since 1974. It hosts free, multilingual legal advice and provides legal resources.

Reporting hate incidents

Asian Americans Advancing Justice: a national nonprofit with local chapters advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and tracking hate crimes. www.

Stand Against Hatred: the monitor helping AAAJ in efforts to follow where anti-Asian violence is occurring. People can submit stories without personal information shared. www.

Stop AAPI Hate: a reporting center launched to in response to escalating anti-Asian violence during the pandemic and tracks incidents of hate crimes against Asian Americans through submissions. It’s available in 12 languages, including English, simplified and traditional Chinese, and Japanese.

Asian Pacific American Advocates: a group whose policy platforms focus on racial justice and equitable outcomes for Asian Americans and largely focuses on fair immigration policies, equitable access in education, racial equity, civic engagement and workforce development. Virginia has three chapters: Northern Virginia, Eastern Virginia and Central Virginia.


The Asian American Society of Central Virginia: promotes unity among Asian communities in central Virginia.

The Richmond Vietnamese Association: https://richmond

Filipino American Association of Central Virginia: volunteers resources and conducts outreach for immigrants, refugees and people experiencing homelessness throughout central Virginia and lifts up Filipino culture in the region.


AALead: works with young Asian Pacific Americans from low-income or underserved neighborhoods in the D.C. area and checks in with students about harassment they face; increases peer support, launches service projects and has mentorship programs.

Other: Asian American and Pacific Islander student unions at VCU, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia and James Madison University

Asian American journalists

The AAPI Journalists Therapy Relief Fund: founded by freelance journalist Sonia Weiser, this is a GoFundMe that offers grants to Asian journalists seeking therapy. The goal is to raise $35,000, and Asian American journalists can click here to apply for therapy funds. To donate, click here.

Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma: offers resources, tip sheets, research and training on the trauma and implications for news coverage.

Asian American Journalists Association: a nonprofit that ensures fair and accurate news coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The organization has offered extensive guidance for newsrooms on how to properly cover anti-Asian crimes.

Mental health

Asian American Psychological Association: a mental health organization advocating for the training of Asian mental health professionals and advocating for mental health services for Asian Americans on the government level.

National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association: a nonprofit promoting the mental health of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities with state-specific resources for service providers.

South Asian Therapists: an organization with a directory of South Asian therapists to ease the search and options to purchase self-care packages. https://south

Asian Mental Health Collective: works to destigmatize mental health among Asian communities; offers free or reduced care, resources for mental health professionals, providers and organizations; and has an Asian Pacific Islander Desi American therapist directory organized by state. www.asian

Asian American Suicide Prevention & Education has its own 24-hour Asian LifeNet Hotline in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Fujianese. The number is (877) 990-8585.

Project Lotus: a youth-led organization removing mental health stigma among Asian American communities by addressing shame and the model minority myth, sharing mental health stories, hosting webinars with experts and sending weekly newsletters with resources.

Self-help resources from Northwestern: a resource hub for strategies and tips on coping with xenophobia and anti-Asian racism.

Authentic Speak Network: is offering a free virtual support group with a clinical psychologist for Asian Americans in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area in their 20s to 40s on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. www.aligned


AAPI Emergency Response Network: focuses on the COVID-19 impact on Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander groups and compiles housing, CARES Act and other general resources.

(804) 649-6103

Twitter: @sabrinaamorenoo

Staff writer Kenya Hunter contributed to this report.

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