FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ASIAN GOLD RIBBON CAMPAIGN: Show Solidarity Against Anti-Asian Racism by Wearing a Gold Ribbon this May
Asian Gold Ribbon Day takes place on Thursday, May 20, 2021, corresponding with Asian Heritage month
April 15, 2021 (Toronto, ON) – Since the start of the pandemic, xenophobia, and anti-Asian hate and violence have increased to alarming rates. In a report released by the Vancouver Police Department, anti-Asian hate crime rates have increased over 717 per cent1. Similar hate crimes have been documented across Canada and the United States, reaffirming a need to recognize the impact this tragic rise is having on Asian communities.
The Asian Gold Ribbon 2021 Campaign is urging individuals, organizations, and communities to demonstrate solidarity against Asian racism and to recognize its profound psychological impact. In correspondence with Asian Heritage Month, Asian and non-Asian persons will adorn face masks with the gold ribbon emblem and gold ribbon pins throughout the month of May to signify hope, unity, and solidarity for a better tomorrow. At minimal cost, individuals can also make DIY gold ribbons to wear. The inaugural Asian Gold Ribbon Day will take place on Thursday, May 20, 2021 when participants will be encouraged to help in the visibility campaign by posting a selfie and tagging @asiangoldribbon along with using the hashtag #asiangoldribbon.
“The main impetus of the campaign is to compel social change and contribute to the momentum of an Asian movement—an optimistic renewal for Asians to feel pride in who they are,” said Founder and Psychologist Dr. Gina Wong. “We hope the gold ribbon will reclaim the colour yellow that has been used historically to denigrate and disparage the Asian race (“yellow peril”) and in turn become a symbol of celebration of Asian heritage and culture.”
Masks with the gold ribbon emblem and pins are available for purchase at https://asiangoldribbon.com/store/ with a portion of the proceeds going to fund initiatives that support mental health programs and services for Asian wellbeing.
The Asian Gold Ribbon Campaign will take the following actions aligned to its mission:
- Community Outreach—offering social justice advocacy, education, and support activities for community residents and organizations including virtual presentations.
- Fundraising for Asian Wellbeing— A portion of all funds raised will go towards the development of initiatives for mental health support programs and services for Asian wellbeing. The campaign also compels supporters to donate to the Hong Fook Mental Health Association .
- Initiate a Celebration on Thursday, May 20th,2021— Asian Gold Ribbon Day is Thursday, May 20, 2021 corresponding with Asian Heritage month. Asian and non-Asian persons will adorn masks with the gold ribbon emblem and gold ribbons or pins to signify hope, unity, and solidarity for a better tomorrow.
According to Statistics Canada, the proportion of visible minorities (18 per cent) who perceived an increase in the frequency of harassment or attacks based on race, ethnicity or skin colour has increased significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This difference was most pronounced among Chinese (30 per cent), Korean (27 per cent), and Southeast Asian (19 per cent) participants2.
The Chinese Canadian Council for Social Justice report released on March 24 identified 1,150 cases of hate crimes against Asians across Canada from March 10, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021. These reports ranged from acts of vandalism and violent attacks to things like shouting racial slurs, spitting, or coughing on Asian individuals. 60 per cent of reports were from Asian women3.
Co-Founder Sheila Wong has been in the middle of fighting for her business of 30 years in the events sector to survive beyond the pandemic but felt an obligation to join the campaign. “It’s so important to not be complacent, and have compassion—not just for other people but for ourselves,” said Wong. “This campaign is a step towards no longer suppressing our voices and inspiring hope for a better tomorrow.”
To learn more about the Asian Gold Ribbon Campaign, visit https://asiangoldribbon.com/
To book an interview with Dr. Gina Wong or Sheila Wong, or for more information, please contact:
ABOUT DR. GINA WONG, FOUNDER & AMBASSADOR
Dr. Gina Wong is a Psychologist, Professor, and Program Director in the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University, Canada. Dr. Wong arrives at this deliberate and intentional equity, justice, and inclusivity work in solid stance against all forms of hate and racism against BIPOC communities. She is fighting against anti-Asian racism with deep respect and profound awareness of the social and historical context of racism against Black, Indigenous, and other racialized minorities. Dr. Wong’s own experiences as a racialized Asian woman compels her to this work. She has a strong personal desire to serve the Asian community and to raise awareness and garner pride in Asian heritage and culture.
She has delivered keynote addresses and workshops on a variety of topics including the impact of anti-Asian racism on Asian communities.
ABOUT SHEILA WONG CO-FOUNDER & AMBASSADOR
Sheila Wong is the founding partner and Senior Vice President of BBW International Inc, a national event staffing company of thirty years. Sheila Wong is widely recognized as an industry leader having been inducted into the Canadian Association of Exposition Management Hall of Fame and receiving the 2020 President’s Award of the Professional Conference Managers Association Canada East Chapter (PCMA).
In the present context of hate and racism against all peoples of color, she could not remain silent any longer as Asians have been viciously attacked and blamed for the COVID-19 pandemic. She has a strong belief that we need to stand in solidarity as one race, the human race, to speak out against injustice and violent acts in the name of hate. She stands proud as an Asian Canadian helping to raise awareness.
|1Source: Vancouver Police Board Report 2021|
2Source: Statistics Canada, Crowdsourcing on perceptions of safety, May 12-15, 2020 (https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/45-28-0001/2020001/article/00046-eng.htm)
|3Source: The Chinese Canadian Council for Social Justice Report, March 24, 2021|