In Wake of Targeted Racist Attacks due to COVID-19, Casten Hosted Event Condemning Discrimination

May 6, 2020
Press Release

Downers Grove, IL – As targeted attacks against Asian-Americans continue to spread across the United States, U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) hosted a virtual event to educate, illuminate, and counter the destructive narrative around the recent COVID19 related xenophobic attacks.

Casten was joined by Dr. Anna Guevarra, Founding Director and Associate Professor of the Global Asian Studies Program at University of Illinois Chicago; David Goldenberg Midwest Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League; and Andy Kang Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. 

Casten said, "The coronavirus does not care what you look like, where you are from, or where you live. The demonizing of Asian American communities is morally reprehensible. Tonight's event shed a light on the experiences of Asian-Americans in Illinois, and moving forward how we can stop these xenophobic attacks. Thank you to all the speakers for their participation."

“In just the last two months, ADL has tracked an escalation of racism, antisemitism and hate, both in-person and online, related to COVID-19,” said ADL Midwest Regional Director, David Goldenberg. “Most of this hate has unfortunately targeted the Asian American, Jewish and other marginalized communities.  We applaud Congressman Casten for his leadership on this issue and are pleased to join him and other leaders to discuss this troubling trend and how to respond together.”

Webinar Event: Building a Healthy Community: Overcoming Ignorance, Prejudice and Hate

To watch Rep. Casten's Webinar Event: Building a Health Community: Overcoming Ignorance, Prejudice and Hate, click the image above or click here.

During the virtual event, the speakers provided resources constituents can utilize when reporting hate crimes and tools Asian Americans can use if they are victims of these attacks. The speakers will address the underlying causes and equip listeners with the means to establish good practices countering xenophobia, share their background, research, and current work addressing this issue. Grant will also have an opportunity to share his personal story.

According to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, since March 19th, almost 1500 incidents of coronavirus specific discrimination to Asian Americans including verbal harassment, shunning, and physical assaults have been reported.