WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it’s taking additional steps to respond to the increase in anti-Asian violence, xenophobia and bias in the U.S.
One of the actions is establishing a COVID-19 equity task force committee dedicated to ending xenophobia against those in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities.
The new subcommittee will provide recommendations to ensure the federal government’s response to COVID-19 mitigates anti-Asian xenophobia and bias. The committee will also advance health equity for specific Asian American communities that have been disproportionately infected by and died from the coronavirus.
Additionally, the committee will lead policy sprints to develop actionable recommendations for advancing cultural competency, language access, and inclusion towards the AAPI community as the U.S. ends and recovers from the pandemic.
The White House says President Joe Biden will also re-establish and expand a White House initiative to coordinate across federal agencies to combat anti-Asian bias and violence. The initiative will have an expanded mandate to promote inclusion, belonging, and opportunity for all AAPI communities.
The administration says the Department of Justice is making changes, establishing an agency initiative to respond to anti-Asian violence. Some actions have already been taken, like re-initiating community outreach programs and addressing gaps in hate crimes reporting. Information on the DOJ’s hate crimes website has also been made accessible in four of the most frequently spoken AAPI languages: Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
The FBI will also publish a new interactive hate crime page on its website to spotlight reports of anti-Asian hate crimes. And the FBI will begin holding nationwide civil rights training events to promote state and local law enforcement reporting of hate crimes. They’ll feature modules on recognizing and reporting anti-Asian bias.
Another action the administration is taking is allocating $49.5 million from the American Rescue Plan to a new grant program for community-based, culturally specific services and programs for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who face additional barriers to services and safety, such as language access barriers. The program will expand services to survivors in the AAPI community.
Lastly, the administration says it’s funding critical research to prevent and address bias and xenophobia against Asian American communities. The National Science Foundation is supporting more than 100 grants across the U.S. totaling over $33 million of investment. The researchers are advancing studies to reveal new and more effective strategies for reducing the frequency and severity of discrimination experienced by historically underrepresented groups.