Violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has escalated to alarming rates in recent years, with nearly 4,000 cases of anti-Asian hate crimes reported since March 2020. This violence, however, is not new. The AAPI community has faced systemic xenophobia and racism for far too long, and it cannot and should not be ignored.
We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community and offer our condolences to those affected by the recent and tragic killings in Atlanta that stole the lives of eight innocent people, six of whom were Asian American.
While we are speaking up to stand in solidarity with the AAPI community, we recognize words alone are not enough. Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee recently engaged in discussions on how we, as a law firm, can take action. We took our first step by providing educational resources to our employees on the structural and systemic inequities faced by the AAPI community. We also made a monetary contribution to Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities.
These mark the first steps of a longer journey that we fully commit to take at Banner Witcoff. We further commit to convene programming throughout the year to continue these important diversity-related conversations. We will also work to identify opportunities to collaborate with and volunteer for organizations dedicated to fighting for racial equality and justice. And, we will continue to make sure we have a safe space at Banner Witcoff for our employees to share their experiences and provide feedback.
We anticipate that our initial plan of action will evolve over time and we will do our best to share our progress along the way.
Posted: March 31, 2021