TO help stop the proliferation of anti-Asian hatred and harassment, Asian American Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-Los Angeles), in partnership with Hollaback!, is hosting a series of virtual trainings titled “Bystander Intervention To Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment.
Beginning with the first training on March 23 which was conducted using the native Filipino language, Jeanette Sayno, legal attorney for the Advancing Justice-Los Angeles community, said these workshops aim to empower everyone to build a world free from harassment and filled with humanity.
“Our work aims to transform the care we have for each other into simple, creative and effective actions,” said Sayno, noting that training participants will be able to learn how to intervene effectively as bystanders without compromising their safety.
Previous reports showed that in 2020, hate crimes against Asians jumped 107% in California. Some 89 hate crimes were reported against Asians/Americans, compared to 43 in 2019. The total number of hate crimes in the state in 2020 reached 1,330, the highest in more than a decade.
During the first training session of Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the concept of the 5Ds (Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, Direct) was introduced as an effective tool for implementing bystander intervention.
“I hope more people sign up for the program so we can explain to them how the 5D concept works,” Sayno said.
The workshops are free to the public, but donations are also welcome to reach as many Asian/Americans as possible and to further expand these capacity building and awareness efforts. To make a donation, go to https://bit.ly/donatetoadvancingjusticela.
Sayno said he also encouraged participants to tell at least 10 of their friends and/or families about the training program. Other free training sessions will be posted on https://advancingjustice-la.org/bystander-intervention-trainings.
Advancing Justice-Los Angeles volunteer coordinator Mai Mao Yang said the talks would help raise awareness of the role of ‘bystanders’ amid rising cases of harassment against Asians/Americans. in the United States and around the world, especially during the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the goal of training up to 40,000 people, Advancing Justice-Los Angeles plans to hold these comprehensive, in-depth workshops via Zoom on a monthly basis. The next Tagalog training is scheduled for April 21 at 6 p.m. PT. To register, go to https://www.ihollaback.org/stand-street-harassment/
“Essentially, we want to reach everyone. We see that during the pandemic, it really solidifies the need for these trainings. The more, the better. Hopefully next month more people will join the training,” Yang said.
Besides Tagalog/Filipino, the training program will also be offered in other languages such as Mandarin/Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean and English.
Advancing Justice-Los Angeles-sponsored training initiative aligns with President Joe Biden’s statement in May 2021 during the signing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act that called for the creation of specialized crime units that will help states create hate crime hotlines. at national and local levels which will be accessible to people with limited English proficiency.
President Biden also noted that the law provides resources for training state and local law enforcement to identify, investigate and report these heinous crimes.
Advancing Justice-Los Angeles is one of California’s largest civil and legal advocacy organizations for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI).
Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific Legal Center, Advancing Justice-LA serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations each year. Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, Advancing Justice-Los Angeles focuses on the most vulnerable members of the Asian American and AANHPI communities while strengthening the voice of civil rights and social justice.
Currently, Advancing Justice-Los Angeles is based in downtown Los Angeles, with satellite offices in Orange County and Sacramento.
Hollaback!, meanwhile, is a global non-profit organization created to raise awareness and combat bullying, both online and in person, through intervention trainings and grassroots initiatives.