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WASHINGTON — The nation’s leading civil rights and racial justice organizations issued a joint urgent call to action against racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“As our nation grapples with the coronavirus, we are deeply concerned that recent incidents of racism and discrimination against Asian Americans threaten our collective public safety. In recent weeks, Asian Americans have been subjected to violent attacks, discrimination against their businesses and xenophobic portrayal by the media and our elected leaders.

We are often reminded of the xenophobic history of our nation—from the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to the 2019 Public Charge Rule—our nation has always treated people of color and immigrants with suspicion. Coronavirus does not discriminate based on race or ethnicity.

The World Health Organization’s declaration of a pandemic is a call to action—both to protect our collective public health and to remind us that we must stand together. We call on policymakers, the media and the public to take affirmative steps to halt and condemn xenophobia and to ensure that the health and safety of all Americans is protected.”

Advancement Project, National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and Unidos US are a collaborative of nine leading national Racial Equity Anchor Organizations supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families and communities have genuine opportunities to reach their full potential.