(Doris Mah/Facebook)

(Doris Mah/Facebook)

Rallies against anti-Asian racism to mark national day of action, virtually and in-person

Doris Mah wants all levels of government to take action

A series of small in-person rallies and a Zoom event are scheduled to take place Monday (May 10) for the National Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism.

The event was organized by Doris Mah, a Burnaby woman who was shocked to hear of an Asian women assaulted at a Safeway just five blocks away, where Mah herself shopped regularly.

So Mah took action. She went to speak to Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley, and the city proclaimed May 10 the Day of Action Against Asian Racism. But Mah was just getting started. She reached out to 1,000 cities across Canada and heard back from 100. Of those, 30 agreed to declare a day of action against anti-Asian racism on May 10.

Mah said she was shocked when cities even as far away as Toronto agreed.

“I’m not a politician – I’m just one person from a city named Burnaby which is not even well known in Ontario,” she said.

But with the cities also came the support of more than eight million Canadians.

“It’s an unbelievable amount of support that has shown that people want to do something about it,” Mah told Black Press Media by phone.

“I think people need to channel their support into something that they can do.”

The number one thing that Mah hopes that Monday’s day of action impresses upon Canadians is that there is no room for racism in their communities.

“And number two, racism is a learned experience. We have to unlearn, intentionally unlearn what we’ve learned. And so education and awareness is very important,” she said.

Mah said that many Asian immigrants, especially the first generations, do not feel like they can report racism.

“We wanted to tell the people who experienced racism in a very overt or covert way that it’s okay, it is absolutely acceptable for them to come out and say that,” she said.

“If you experience workplace discrimination, what do you do? You just keep your head down.”

Others, Mah said, fear bringing shame to their families.

“In our culture – in a lot of people cultures – you don’t show people’s dirty laundry. It doesn’t it doesn’t bring honour to your family.”

Luckily, that is changing in the younger generations.

“A lot of the movement right now, driven by second and thirds generations of young millennial Asians because they are angry, ” Mah said, seeing “images of somebody like their father and grandfather, their grandmother and mother being harassed like this.”

The movement Mah started has been supported by everyone from everyday Canadians, to labour unions to the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. Mah said that for her, seeing support from teachers hit on an especially personal level. The union pledged to go beyond teaching children to not be racist, committing to being “actively and deliberately antiracist.”

“I have three kids and the racism and discrimination is very real,” she said.

“This means the whole world to me as a parent.”

TheNational Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism will be marked by a series of rallies at SkyTrain stations across Metro Vancouver. The rallies will each be small, with no more than five people all wearing masks, but a larger Zoom event will be held at 5 p.m. To register, click here.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

racism

Just Posted

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read