Rachel Marshall, (415) 416-4468 / Rachel.Marshall@sfgov.org
San Francisco—Today, San Francisco District Attorney hosted a virtual summit dedicated to preventing hate and violence against the AAPI community and improving law enforcement tools to respond. The summit, entitled “Prevention & Protection: Keeping Our AAPI Community Safe,” included a keynote discussion between District Attorney Boudin and the Hon. Justice Goodwin Liu. The Summit also featured experts and community leaders over the course of two panels, both moderated by District Attorney Boudin. Hundreds of people attended the Summit, and recordings of the panels are available online on the DA’s Facebook page.
“I am outraged at the rise of hate and violence against our AAPI community members, and convened this summit to ensure that we are working together alongside community leaders to prevent and respond to the surge in violence,” said District Attorney Boudin. “I feel inspired by the thoughtful conversations we’ve had over the course of the day and look forward to continuing to work alongside AAPI leaders and criminal justice experts to improve our tools in making San Francisco safe for all.”
The Summit began with a poetry reading by Janice Mirikitani, Second Poet Laureate of San Francisco and the Founding President of Glide, who read the poem, “What Form of Madness.” Following the reading, District Attorney Boudin held a keynote discussion with the Hon. Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court about the history and impact of discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Justice Liu shared his own personal story experiencing Anti-Asian racism and how it impacted his childhood.
District Attorney Boudin moderated two panels, each approaching hate crimes against the AAPI community from a different angle. The first panel, the Societal Impact of Hate Crimes, featured Anni Chung, the President and CEO of Self Help for the Elderly; California Assemblymember Ash Kalra; Borey “Peejay” Ai, Community Advocate at Asian Prisoners Support Committee; Orchid Pusey, Executive Director of the Asian Women’s Shelter; and Sarah Wan, the Executive Director of the Community Youth Center.
The second panel, Rethinking Approaches to Investigating & Prosecuting Hate Crimes, focused on the legal responses to hate crimes. DA Boudin moderated a conversation between Anand Subramanian, the Managing Director of Policy Link; Angela Chan, Policy Director of Asian Law Caucus; Michael German, Brennan Center Fellow and former Special Agent; and Assistant District Attorney Xochitl Carrion of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Across all panels, speakers emphasized the importance of acting quickly to protect members of the AAPI community —and expressed appreciation to the District Attorney’s Office and District Attorney Boudin for convening the Summit. Feedback has already begun pouring in with expressions of gratitude to the panelists— longtime AAPI community leaders, advocates and policymakers—for modeling an authentic, powerful, and insightful conversation that the greater community must engage in to move forward and heal. Panelists shared their own personal experiences with discrimination and bullying, gun violence, racism, and the cost of isolation. Common messages included the need to make the community whole again, to invest in the community, and to confront systemic racism. We must work together to serve as ambassadors for our elders, our youth and other vulnerable members of our community.
“I’d like to thank DA Boudin for holding this summit and bringing together community leaders to uplift the work that is being done to address anti-API hate violence,” said Angela Chan, Policy Director and Senior Staff Attorney, Asian Law Caucus. “I appreciated the opportunity to dive into the community-based solutions to prevent hate violence at both the individual and systemic level, while also highlighting the strength and resilience in our communities.”
“There has never been a more urgent need to fight to protect the elderly members of the AAPI community, said Anni Chung, President and CEO of Self-Help for the Elderly. “The pandemic has taken a terrible toll on our elderly community members who were especially at risk from COVID-19, and now the rise in violence and hate against elderly Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has further impacted the community. We must unite against hate and to protect the most vulnerable in our community.”
“At Asian Women’s Shelter, we have seen the devastating impact of the recent rise in violence against the AAPI community on the survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking we serve—as well as the vicarious impacts on our own staff,” said Orchid Pusey, Executive Director of the Asian Women’s Shelter. “Asian survivors of domestic violence already are forced to live in fear of their abusers, but now must also wrestle with their fear of being harmed by a stranger motivated by hate. I am grateful for the opportunity to come together with other API leaders and DA Boudin to highlight the importance of community solutions today.”
The Summit was broadcast over Zoom and offered Cantonese language interpretation. The panels from the Summit were recorded and are available online.