(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

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

A conceptual rendering of the commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith/June 15 Council Agenda)
Rocky Creek commercial plaza passes public hearing

The proposed plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road would bring commercial activity to Ladysmith’s north end

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

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

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

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read