Statement Regarding Hate Crimes Targeting Asian Americans: Keiro Increasing Safety Measures in Community

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By GENE S. KANAMORI, President and CEO, Keiro

As our nation continues to battle a pandemic, there is an ongoing increase in anti-Asian hate crimes, resulting in the tragic shooting in Atlanta two weeks ago. Throughout the past year, nearly 4,000 hate-related incidents against Asian Americans have been reported with a growing number of older adults, specifically women, being targeted (Stop AAPI Hate, 2021).

With the safety and well-being of older adults at the forefront, Keiro is partnering with local community organizations to increase public safety and awareness. Keiro provided an emergency funding grant to the Little Tokyo Public Safety Association/Koban to ensure safety of residents and visitors of Little Tokyo, which is home to thousands of Asian American older adults.

In partnership with Little Tokyo Service Center, Keiro is widely disseminating these safety tips, in multiple languages, to raise awareness and keep our community members safe. We encourage all community members to share these tips and more importantly, remain aware of your surroundings when going outside. We should not have to be fearful when going out — but we do need to remain vigilant.

Five Tips

• Be aware of your surroundings

• Conduct errands in pairs or with others, when possible

• Limit distractions such as phone or headphone use when in public

• Prioritize your own safety while remaining vigilant

• Talk about concerns or worries with others

If you witness or experience an anti-Asian incident, report them to Stop AAPI Hate at stopaapihate.org

Keiro will host a series of online webinars, with the first one on Thursday, April 8, with Ronald Y. Ito, to share safety tips and guidelines for us to feel safer and more aware when we go out in public. Additional safety webinars are being added throughout the month of April. Registration for these free webinars is available at keiro.org.

We continue to live in extraordinary times, and as we have urged throughout this entire pandemic, everyone must remain informed and knowledgeable in order to effectively protect ourselves and our loved ones.

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