Nearly 50,000 people trained to address harassment and protect Asian American communities during ongoing surge in anti-Asian hate

We call on community members and allies to join the nearly 50,000 individuals already trained to stand against hatred
For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. — In just one year, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC and Hollaback! have trained nearly 50,000 people to successfully and safely intervene as a bystander to stop non-violent incidents of anti-Asian hate. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian American communities across the country have been facing a surge of hate-filled verbal and physical threats and attacks. Advocates are calling on community members and allies to join our community of nearly 50,000 who have already learned the skills to stand against hatred.

Advancing Justice | AAJC and Hollaback!’s training was adapted using Hollaback!’s 5Ds of bystander intervention methodology to respond to the anti-Asian harassment that Asian American communities have been experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 60-minute online training, which is available free-of-charge, teaches the skills to safely respond to harassment through five tactics: Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay and Direct. 

By the end of 2020, thousands of people had participated in the trainings Hollaback! and Advancing Justice | AAJC had created to help address anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment, including a training on conflict de-escalation that we launched in May and a training for Asian Americans who wanted to learn how to respond if they were harassed, which we launched in June. 

Then, in 2021, the news filled with reports of violent attacks on Asian elders, followed by the tragic shootings in Atlanta that resulted in the death of six Asian women last month. 

“Many had already been coming to us asking ‘how can I help,’” said Emily May, Executive Director of Hollaback! “Then as the Asian American community faced new and amplified threats, harassment, and physical violence, more and more people were seeking out ways to help end anti-Asian hate. We are doing what we can to meet this moment and help people stand up for the Asian American community.” 

In 2021 alone, Advancing Justice | AAJC and Hollaback! have trained individuals from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our trainings have also drawn international participants. In the month of March alone, nearly 17,000 people participated in our training sessions. 

The most recent surge in anti-Asian hate is only the latest manifestation of systemic racism that has historically impacted the Asian American community. Anti-Asian hate is deeply rooted and supported by white supremacist policies that feed the racism and xenophobia Asian American communities have experienced throughout American history. To combat anti-Asian hate, it will take a comprehensive effort to collectively and individually recognize the ongoing crisis and work together to be allies and advocates for ending hate against all communities of color.

“We’re heartened by the tremendous interest in our trainings, showing us that in the face of hate, thousands of allies and community members of different ages and backgrounds are willing to step up to protect and show support for our communities,” said Marita Etcubañez, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “It’s been a source of hope and healing for me to be able to teach about the historical context of hate and discrimination, and share tangible ways for people to act. And from their enthusiastic response, it’s clear that many of the participants appreciate the training and leave feeling empowered to take action.”

Advancing Justice | AAJC and Hollaback! encourage everyone to take the free-of-charge bystander intervention training to learn how to safely and successfully stand against hatred. To meet the increased demand, the two organizations have expanded their capacity to handle larger audiences for each training session and continue to add sessions. Hollaback! and Advancing Justice | AAJC are committed to ensuring that every person in this country who wants to be trained in bystander intervention, can be trained, for free.

Paolo Montalban, the actor and singer best known for his role in the 1997 Disney film “Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella,” will make a special appearance to co-lead the bystander intervention training on Wednesday, April 7. 

On April 8, the date that marks the launch of the collaboration between Hollaback! and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, we will hold an Instagram Live at 6:00 p.m. ET to discuss our work together over the past year and our plans for the year ahead.

For more details on our trainings, please visit Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC’s events page or Hollaback’s page on our trainings to address anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment