Beyond AAPI Month: Being an Ally to Canadians of Asian Descent Year-Round


Beyond AAPI Month: Being an Ally to Canadians of Asian Descent Year-Round

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich cultures and incredible contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage.

While AAPI month serves as a valuable time for celebration, our commitment to supporting these communities extends far beyond May!

We can’t ignore the reality of anti-Asian racism. It’s a serious issue that can take many forms, from hurtful stereotypes to outright violence.

So, how can we be true allies and continue supporting these communities even after AAPI Month?

Being an ally means actively working against racism and discrimination.

As allies, we must actively stand up for our friends, colleagues, family members, and strangers who experience the impact of systemic injustices. This means listening with empathy, amplifying their voices, and actively working towards dismantling the barriers that persist.

Remember, even small acts can make a big difference.

Anti-Asian racism thrives on ignorance and stereotypes.

Take the time to educate yourself about the rich history and diverse cultures within the communities of Asian heritage. Read books by Asian authors, watch documentaries about the unique experiences of Canadians of Asian descent, and explore local festivals and events.

By actively learning, you can identify and unlearn any unconscious biases you might have.

From family-run restaurants to bustling markets, Asian-owned businesses add vibrancy to our communities. Make a conscious effort to shop local wherever possible!

Not only will you discover delicious new foods and unique products, but you’ll also be supporting local entrepreneurs of Asian descent and investing in your community.

Pro tip: Look for hashtags like #ShopLocalAsian and #SupportAsianOwned on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to discover local gems!

“Model minority” is a common stereotype used for Canadians of Asian descent, implying they’re all successful and wealthy. This not only ignores the vast diversity within these communities but also downplays the real challenges they face.

When you meet someone of Asian descent, don’t make assumptions based on stereotypes. Get to know them as an individual!

We all have unconscious biases – those hidden beliefs that influence our thoughts and actions. Sometimes, these biases can lead to discriminatory behaviour, even if we don’t mean it.

Here’s the key: we can choose to be aware of them. Reflect on how you interact with people from different backgrounds, pay attention to your gut feelings, and challenge any assumptions that might arise.

By incorporating these tips into your everyday actions, you can be a better ally and contribute to a more inclusive Canada. Remember, supporting Canadians of Asian descent is a year-round commitment to celebrating diversity and fighting against racism within our waterfront communities and beyond.

Let’s ensure we continue to learn, grow, and stand against Anti-Asian racism together.

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