Workplace leaders: Speak out about white violence against Asian Americans - Technical.ly

Company Culture

Mar. 29, 2021 9:19 am

Workplace leaders: Speak out about white violence against Asian Americans

And resources for next steps, from Technical.ly’s latest Culture Builder newsletter.
A “Standing in Solidarity Against Hate Crimes” event in Columbus, Ohio, on March 20, 2021.

A "Standing in Solidarity Against Hate Crimes" event in Columbus, Ohio, on March 20, 2021.

(Photo by Flickr user Becker1999, used via a Creative Commons license)

Written by Technically Media CEO Chris Wink, Technical.ly’s new Culture Builder newsletter features tips on growing powerful teams and dynamic workplaces. Below is the latest edition we published. Sign up here to get the next one this Friday.


Two weeks ago in Atlanta, a white man killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent. It was an act of domestic terrorism. It brought forward an overdue conversation about the place Asian Americans have in our societal movement on racial equality. Painfully, last week we saw another mass-killing event; this one in Boulder, Colorado.

As with most acts of violence, they are both traumatic for those directly involved and representative of something far larger. They both add to the gruesome list of this country’s mass-killing events. Technical.ly is reporting out a story on how culture leaders discuss gun-violence trauma that may directly affect workplaces. Reach out if you’ve worked on this and might want to share advice.

Racially motivated violence against Asian-Americans spiked in 2020. The economic shock from the pandemic has been especially difficult for Asian Americans, one of the most diverse and vibrant identities in American life. In Q4 2020, half of unemployed Asian Americans had been unemployed for at least six months, according to Pew Research Center. That total was closer to a third for Black, Hispanic and white Americans.

A major responsibility for the Technically Media newsroom is to help guide workplaces through complex and important organizational dynamics (links below). This is one of those moments.

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Within 48 hours, Generocity.org published this guest commentary outlining steps to take and resources to use. Last week, Technical.ly published perspectives from Asian-American web entrepreneurs, and this guest commentary on how allies can better support.

That reported Technical.ly story in particular is important for this group. In it, two founders we report on often express dismay at a lack of public conversation from tech leaders. They contrast it with the response last summer, when years of social advocacy seemed to have created a tipping point. According to Technical.ly research, 85% of companies launched new DEI initiatives last year. The volume appears to have been turned down on our Asian American neighbors.

Just as we advised after the killing of George Floyd, organizational leaders should make clear where they stand. Combine language here with what holds true to your own organization.

Racially motivated violence is one of the ugliest diseases in our society. That stance has been true for the decade of Technical.ly’s reporting. That was true last year after the killing of George Floyd. It is also true today after these Atlanta killings.

Though the #StopAsianHate hashtag has helped to organize many efforts, organizationally we stand also with those activists who seek to center this as an outcome of declining-majority white vengeance. One common link between Black Lives Matter and the movement by the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is white violence.

Technical.ly has a code of conduct (for our coverage, events and online community) because we believe we can’t take for granted the necessity to demonstrate our values. I advise you to do the same. I also advise you to offer space for your team to discuss this when and where they want. It does seem the United States has turned a corner in the pandemic fight. Efforts for equality are eternal.

And now the links:

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