Since the COVID-19 outbreak hit Colorado (March 2020), Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have been subjected to increased rates of harassment and discrimination. Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network (CACEN) has been working in partnership with local organizations to respond to these concerns as well as support Asian families and businesses during these difficult times.
The Partnership, which includes Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC), Colorado Dragon Boat, and Asian Chamber of Commerce has coordinated community outreach and messaging campaigns to help our AAPI communities respond to the hateful acts and report to the national tracking tool.
The Partnership has worked with local community leaders, government agencies, and law enforcement to confront hate crimes against AAPI communities. Incidents of discrimination including verbal attacks (using racist language), spitting (assault) and physical violence (pushing and punching) have been reported on campuses, in grocery stores, and other public spaces. AAPIs are fearful and cautious to leave their homes to get food and essential items.
Additionally, AAPI small business owners have been hit the hardest because of this anti-Asian sentiment. Prior to the Governor’s stay-at-home order, AAPI businesses were already experiencing a significant decrease in business and customers. Additionally, AAPI business owners are disproportionately affected by the economic repercussions of COVID-19 due to language and cultural barriers. Many need assistance to understand and file for SBA and PPP loans. Similarly, AAPI families and community members need support to file for unemployment, mortgage deferment, and/or to understand the stimulus plan.
In response to COVID-19, Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network received several grants to support Colorado families in need:
We set up food delivery services for Asian seniors and refugee/immigrant families.
We organized supplies and PPE donation drive, as well as a toy and clothing drive.
We also created and promoted an Asian restaurant directory (during the safer at home order) that identified restaurants offering take-out and delivery services.
In August 2020, we established an Asian Eats To-Go program to partner with local Asian restaurants to provide pre-packaged lunch boxes. This allowed community members to support several local Asian-owned businesses at once.
In collaboration with the Partnership, we have provided translation services and support to help individuals and businesses apply for loans and file for unemployment.
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Since the COVID-19 outbreak hit Colorado (March 2020), Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have been subjected to increased rates of harassment and discrimination.
Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network (CACEN) has been working in partnership with local organizations to respond to these concerns as well as support Asian families and businesses during these difficult times.