REDWOOD CITY, CA: GoFundMe has launched a campaign with the hashtag #StopAsianHate in collaboration with the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and 3.1 Phillip Lim.
Discrimination and hate crimes toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have increased staggeringly in major cities over the the last year, with an increase of nearly 150%, according to California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
The spike, which has accounted for both verbal and physical assaults, is attributed by many Asian American rights activists to xenophobia inspired by commentary made by former President Donald Trump, who has publicly blamed China for the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
GoFundMe’s #StopAsianHate campaign aims to address issues impacting the AAPI community through its own central fund, in which users can make donations that the brand will use to issue grants to trusted organizations on the frontlines.
The brand is also encouraging users to fundraise on their own on behalf of grassroots AAPI organizations they have listed from around the country.
GoFundMe has committed to keeping donors informed of where the proceeds are headed and has highlighted individual activists unaffiliated with organizations on its website.
The fund has currently raised $302,901 toward its $500,000 goal in the last 24 hours.
In a five-tweet thread, GoFundMe CMO Musa Tariq explained he has seen mostly members of the AAPI community create posts over the last several weeks regarding the issue, and decided to take action after an article by Adweek called for brands to step up.
Over the last couple of weeks, like many of you, I saw close mostly friends from the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community post about the terrible violence and hate facing the community. pic.twitter.com/Dnmh1vEfJW— Musa Tariq (@musa) March 2, 2021
In an emailed statement to PRWeek, Tariq explained that the recent attacks against the AAPI community have catalyzed a strong response among a diverse cross section of society.
“The feedback from those who want to effect change has been clear: what can I do, and where do I go?” said Tariq. “Working closely with Phillip Lim, and other leaders in the community , we knew we could help by doing what GoFundMe does best - connecting those who need help, with those who are willing and able to do so.”
GoFundMe wants to use this campaign to help those facing immediate needs in addition to organizations working to address long term, systemic issues, Tariq said.
“We’re humbled by the many pledges of support from activists and industry leaders, and stand proudly with the AAPI community,” he added.
The campaign has gotten support from users on Twitter since the announcement, with numerous reposts, comments and calls to donate.
Please help uplift, empower, and protect the vulnerable against rising anti-Asian attacks by donating to the Support the AAPI Community Fund at https://t.co/N8W4XKUsVp. Proceeds are distributed to a vetted group of community, neighborhood, and victim organizations. #StopAsianHate pic.twitter.com/eY48t330x8— Eugene Lee Yang (@EugeneLeeYang) March 2, 2021
This story first appeared on PRWeek US.