Every April, YWCA’s across the nation come together to Stand Against Racism. The YWCA of Kaua‘i invites our community to join in efforts to eliminate racism by signing an action pledge and joining the national campaign.
In many areas around the world, fear and misinformation surrounding COVID-19 have led to discrimination and violence towards certain groups of people. Associating COVID-19 with a race or nationality is racism.
In March, actor and Hawai‘i’s own Daniel Dae Kim was diagnosed with COVID-19. In a heartfelt video on Instagram, he called out racist and xenophobic attacks that many Asian-Americans have been experiencing since the outbreak. “Please, please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people.
Randomly beating elderly, sometimes homeless, Asian-Americans is cowardly, heartbreaking and it’s inexcusable.” A March 19 Time article states, “Racist attacks against Asian people have been reported in Los Angeles, New York and other cities around the world.”
This pandemic is also disproportionately affecting Black and Latino communities. In April, the CDC released a study based on 1,482 hospitalized patients across the country, a limited report showed that among 580 of those patients, 33 percent are black. For comparison, Black Americans make up 13.4 percent of the US population,” (Boston Globe, 4/10/2020). The disparity reflects longstanding and persistent economic inequalities and differences in access to health care.
A recent finding for the State of Hawai’i Department of Health shows that while Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander count for only ten percent of the state population, they represent thirteen percent of the total state confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Our island community thrives when we learn about our differences and work together for the greater good.
This is not the first time we have experienced hardship, and it won’t be the last. However, we can get through these times by doing the right thing, and treating each other with kindness, respect, and dignity. Here on Kaua‘i, our multicultural ‘ohana knows the importance of supporting and respecting each other. Even though we must now be physically apart, we still stand together.
While humankind is fighting a global pandemic, we also have the opportunity to teach our young people about standing up for what is right and standing against racism.
We can empower each other to learn about power and privilege, we can commit to taking steps towards inclusion, and we can share our knowledge with others.
Find out about how to get involved now at standagainstracismkauai.org
Please join your YWCA of Kaua‘i and Pledge to Stand Against Racism in our homes, in our daily lives, and as an example to share aloha with our global community.
Kaua’i Stands Together. Kaua’i Stands Against Racism.
Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh, YWCA of Kaua‘i Executive Director
Matthew Houck, YWCA of Kaua‘i Lead Prevention Educator