(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

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

sdaf
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for the 2018 Canada Day festival. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)
Festivals Kelowna cancels Canada Day celebrations for second year in a row

The group cited logistic issues in their announcement

Central Okanagan Public Schools is assisting with the distribution of a donation of $500 to every Grade 12 graduating student in the school district. (File photo)
Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads get $500 surprise

Anonymous donor gifts $500 to every Grade 12 student

A vehicle was fully engulfed in flames before around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kerry Hutter - contributed)
UPDATE: Kelowna man cuffed after carjacking in Vernon

Crime spree: Man robs couple at Coldstream lookout at gunpoint, sets a vehicle ablaze

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read