(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

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read