FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20th, 2021
Washington, DC—The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement as S.937, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act was signed into law by President Biden. After passing the Senate in April, the House of Representatives approved the bill by a vote of 364 to 62 on May 18th. The bill, which was led by Senators Hirono and Duckworth in the Senate, and Rep. Grace Meng in the House of Representatives, improves methods of data collection, review, and response to COVID-19 related hate crimes. The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which was added to the legislation, also creates grant programs to support hate crimes reporting, as well as other improvements aimed at improving responses to hate crimes.
We thank President Biden for this important step towards making good on his promise to respond to anti-Asian racism. We also applaud the many Members of Congress, Senators and their staff for their tireless work in seeing this effort across the finish line. We are proud of our member organizations who have worked closely towards this moment as well. It is our hope that this small victory, in a time of partisan gridlock, reminds all what is possible when we work together. With that said, much work remains.
We call on everyone to continue to do their part to combat anti-Asian racism, as well as demand justice for the many other manifestations of violence towards all communities of color, including state-based violence. True community healing cannot occur in the absence of concerted efforts to resource those who are most impacted.
This pandemic has taken so much from so many, yet we are resolved to continue providing a voice for our communities at the national level. We look forward to working with the White House and Congress to address the many challenges that remain.
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 37 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.