Advancing Justice - AAJC Partners with Comcast NBCUniversal to Air Bystander Intervention PSAs Amid Increased Fear in Asian American Communities

Advancing Justice – AAJC, Right To Be, and AARP Behind the New Animated Video Series Providing Actionable Steps to Intervene in Anti-Asian Harassment
For Immediate Release
Contact
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144 mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org
Louise Liu (202) 657-7413 lliu@advancingjustice-aajc.org

Washington D.C.— Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, Right To Be (formerly Hollaback!), and AARP join forces with Comcast NBCUniversal to broadcast a public service announcement (PSA) that will encourage people to learn how to take action as a bystander when they witness harassment. The three organizations originally created the bystander intervention videos in partnership with Prisca. This new partnership will result in widespread distribution of these PSAs across Comcast’s footprint in 6,000 communities nationwide.

“At Comcast, we understand the importance of leveraging our distribution assets to support the Asian American community in this time of crisis and uncertainty,” says Joon I. Kim, Comcast’s Associate Vice President of External Affairs. “We’re proud to partner on this campaign and promote proactive steps everyone can take to combat harassment.”

The PSA aims to introduce the “5Ds of Bystander Intervention,” actionable methods of intervening in harassment in response to the continued rise in anti-Asian hate.

“In my reporting on harassment and crime on Asian, Black, and LGBTQ+ Americans, I have noticed bystanders’ hesitance to act,” says Richard Lui, Prisca founder and NBC News/MSNBC anchor who volunteered to direct the series on behalf of the Asian American Journalists Association. “This PSA can teach everyday people how to deescalate situations before they become more serious.”

Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian American community experienced a dramatic increase in anti-Asian bias and harassment. Almost three years later, the verbal and physical attacks have continued, often escalating into crimes with serious or fatal consequences.

While public attention has largely moved on from anti-Asian hate, back-to-back mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California last month have heightened fear and anxiety in Asian American communities once again.

“People have frequently reported feeling frozen or not knowing what to do when they witness anti-Asian or other types of harassment,” says Marita Etcubañez, Advancing Justice – AAJC’s Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives. “Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC and Right To Be will continue to share the methods of bystander intervention with the greater public to bridge that knowledge gap.”

The PSA serves as an introduction to the “5Ds” and a sneak peek into the bystander intervention training, which teaches audiences to recognize harassment and provides the tools to intervene. Research has demonstrated that 75 percent of participants reported intervening in a situation after attending the training.

“We see instances of everyday harassment ranging from microaggressions to workplace discrimination to verbal attacks, and we often don’t know how to respond,” says Emily May, Right To Be’s Co-Founder and Executive Director. “The five Ds of bystander intervention were developed to address that moment of confusion and guide bystanders to best navigate instances of harassment.”

During the 2022 winter holiday season, the PSA, which was developed with the support of Wells Fargo, was screened as a trailer nationwide in AMC theaters.

The animated series can be viewed in Chinese (Mandarin & Cantonese), Hindi, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese, as well as Spanish. To watch the entire series, visit: https://bit.ly/bystseries.

For more information, including how to register for free public sessions of the bystander intervention training, led by Right To Be and Advancing Justice – AAJC, visit: https://bit.ly/rtbtrain.