Organizations Call on American CEOs to Address Anti-Asian Violence

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Three business organizations of color have banded together to call on U.S. chief executive officers to address the growing incidence of hate crimes against Asian Americans.

In an open letter on March 10, the Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC), U.S. Black Chambers and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said that the longest-lasting impact against the violence comes from corporate employers, who are in a unique position to influence social change.

The groups cite the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, which found that 86% of respondents look for CEOs to lead on issues such as COVID-19’s impact, joblessness due to automation and other issues, as well as the persisting struggle for racial justice.

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The letter also calls on all employers to make racial equity and hate crimes against all minorities a top agenda item, which can be done through speaking up and conducting “hearing sessions” with employees.

The AABDC specifically encourages Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to check in with Asian American employees, especially if they continue to work from home.

Additionally, the group recommends Asian American ERGs actively monitor the wellbeing of their members, and all ERGs of color to mutually support each other.

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“At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, we saw a backlash and targeting of the Asian American community who were unfairly blamed for the virus,” said John Wang, founder and president of AABDC. “Tragically, this climate of hate has continued in 2021, with vulnerable elderly targeted in California and New York City recently, and indications that the community continues to be stigmatized by racist acts and words.”

The business groups also released a companion document called “A CEO Pledge,” which urges CEOs “to be part of the solution and to be a visible ally with Asian Americans and other underrepresented groups.”

Both the letter and the pledge have been sent to influential business groups CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the Business Roundtable and The Conference Board.

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Feature Images via Pixabay (representation only)

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