© 2023 Gold Futures Challenge. All Rights Reserved.
Soar Over Hate
Soar Over Hate
Soar Over Hate
Soar Over Hate emphasizes transparent actions and direct impact. We are very quick to mobilize on the ground in response to hate crimes, and we were one of the first groups in NYC offering these safety resources to API folks. Since last March, we have distributed 30,000+ personal safety devices and coordinated over 15 free community events that have engaged over 500 volunteers. We have a built a strong support base that only continues to grow! Our leadership team at Soar Over Hate is filled with Asian American folks who are genuinely passionate about taking care of our communities, the same communities that we grew up in. We assembled our team with two things in mind: compassion and empathy. Our backgrounds span through medicine, consulting, finance, community advocacy, policy, research, public health, digital marketing, graphic design, and more. We share a common passion to give back and make positive change in the API community. Our predominantly Asian American female and LGBTQ+ leadership with diverse ethnic backgrounds has allowed us to better serve and build meaningful connections with several different groups, community leaders and organizations. We are intentional in everything we do to reach those most vulnerable. Over the past 15 months of our work, we have donated to and collaborated with over 30 organizations across NY and CA that address several intersecting minority identities that put individuals at risk of violence and discrimination in various forms. A few examples of recent collaborative events in 2022 include co-sponsoring and hosting female-taught self defense classes specifically catered towards API LGBTQ+, females, and elderly. We also co-sponsored a Blasian book fair that offered educational resources about the unique and shared histories of Asian and Black Americans in fighting for justice. We also recently partnered with Sikh organizations to distributed hundreds of our personal safety alarms to Sikh individuals in Queens. With this grant money, we can continue to build on the community trust and strong volunteer base we have established to offer additional safety and healing resources and programming to API in NY, CA, and potentially additional geographic regions.
About the Organization:
$100,000 - $500,000
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a second, more insidious pandemic arise: one of hateful racism and bias against Asian Pacific Islanders. Attacks on Asian Pacific Islanders (API), quickly progressing from racial slurs to cold-blooded murder have drastically increased throughout the United States. From March 19, 2020 to December 31, 2021, a total of 10,905 hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, and this does not even include non-reported ones, of which there are projected to be many. New York City (NYC) has been at the epicenter of this anti-Asian violence and hate crimes. Anti-Asian hate crimes in NYC have risen over 361% from 2020 to 2021 and continues to be an ongoing issue in 2022. In particular, Asian elders, women, and LGBTQ+ have been disproportionately targeted as a result of this increase in hate. Earlier this year, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum published that 78% of AAPI women have been affected by anti-Asian racism this past year, with the most commonly reported incidents including being called a racial slur, feeling unsafe walking outside, and experiencing discrimination and harassment at work. In recent months, three Asian American women in NYC have died from violent assaults in high profile incidents. GuiYing Ma, Michelle Alyssa Go and Christina Yuna Lee were all killed by strangers in brutal attacks. This increase in violence have left a profound, widespread impact on API's mental health and wellbeing. In particular, we have seen elderly, women, and LGBTQ+ facing disproportionate duress and fear. Recently, the Asian American Federation (AAF) surveyed Asian seniors and community-based organizations across NYC and found that 75% of respondents said they were weary of leaving their homes due to anti-Asian violence. Unfortunately, solutions and strategies driven by city leaders have yet to prevent these crimes, and as a result, grassroots initiatives like ours, spearheaded by ordinary API community members, have played increasingly critical roles in providing impactful safety and healing resources to the community, while building trust and meaningful long-term connections.
Soar Over Hate was launched as a grassroots initiative in March 2021 to support and uplift the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community in response to escalating violence and hate crimes against API in NYC. All of our work prioritizes API who are low-income, elderly, essential workers, women, and LGBTQ+. We pursue our mission in three ways: 1) Equipping API to safely protect themselves from hate crimes by distributing free personal safety devices (e.g. personal safety alarms and whistles) and training on how to use them, hosting free female-led self defense classes, and providing bystander training education. We were one of the first groups to launch this safety device distribution towards API in the country and have donated over 30,000 devices to API so far. We are uniquely equipped with the framework and a 500+ member volunteer base to continue and expand this easily with additional funding. 2) Providing healing to the API community through our Heal from Hate therapy fund where we match and fund need-based victims of anti-Asian hate with culturally and linguistically competent licensed API therapists as well as organizing free Care Fairs and other events that offer group therapy, puppy therapy, hepatitis B screening, cultural celebrations and more. These efforts were uniquely developed from the need for mental health resources for hate crime victims we observed firsthand from our community distributions. 3) Promoting API youth advocacy through volunteer opportunities and our need-based Bright Futures scholarship for rising 12th graders based on essays about ideas for combating anti-Asian hate. We are in our second year of this scholarship and hope to continue this for years to come. We donate safety devices across the country (California, Texas, New York, and more), and our in-person events have mainly taken place in New York City. Our resources serve the pan API community and our events and distributions have occurred in Manhattan’s Chinatown; Flushing, Queens; Sunset Park, Brooklyn; East Harlem, Koreatown, and more. We donate to, partner with, and engage Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Malaysian, Thai, Pacific Islander, and South Asian organizations, communities, and volunteers, and more.