Here are initiatives in Toronto combating anti-Asian racism and violence
Thousands of people have been rallying to end anti-Asian violence after a hate crime that saw eight people gunned down at spas in Georgia last week.
Among those murdered, six were Asian women. Their deaths have reframed the conversation around anti-Asian hate crimes, centering on the structural violence faced by migrant massage parlour workers—nearly half of whom have experienced violence at work—and documented crimes against East Asian-Canadians, which have surged during COVID-19.
Atlanta-based fundraisers have also been set up for the families of the victims: Xiaojie Tan, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong A. Yue, Paul Andre Michels, and Delaina Ashley Yaun. A verified fundraiser for Daoyou Feng has not been confirmed. Another victim, Elcias Herandez Ortiz, is still in hospital.
Meanwhile, in Toronto, longstanding organizations fighting for migrant workers and Asian rights could use support. A number of businesses and entrepreneurs have also launched their own awareness initiatives.
Made up of massage parlour workers, social workers, and legal and health professionals, Butterfly has been fighting to protect the legal and human rights of Asian massage parlour workers and migrant sex workers against racist stereotypes and discriminatory bylaw processes conducted by the City of Toronto.
This Canada-wide organization was formed in 1980 to combat racist perceptions of Chinese Canadians. The group is currently focused on collecting and analyzing data and incident reports of anti-Asian racism and creating resources for Asian Canadians to respond to racism.
By and for sex workers, Maggie's is one of the longest-running organizations globally to advocate for the rights of sex workers. They offer a wide range of programs. Local advocacy work includes anti-police violence, Indigenous sovereignty, LGBTQ2S liberation work, and a Black Sex Worker Emergency Support Fund.
This Toronto charitable non-profit is dedicated to providing safer sex education to East and Southeast Aisan communities. They've been supporting members of the LGTBQ communities and those living with HIV/AIDs for the last 25 years.
This coalition of migrant worker organizations and allies works to organize individuals in farmwork, care work, and current or former international students. Donations will go toward direct support and long-term campaigns.
East Chinatown's ice cream shop is donating $5 out of every t-shirt sale to Butterfly and CCNC and matching the total. This past weekend they raised $340 and matched for a total of $780. The shop is currently restocking tees, but has announced that it will be running this indefinitely.
Toronto florist Paraluman Flora is currently organizing a fundraiser with 15 other florists including Thyme Studio, Mitsu, RZY and May Flowers. They are currently raising funds for BIPOC and migrant sex workers through $5 raffle tickets for floral arrangements. All proceeds donated go to Maggie's Toronto and Butterfly.
Toronto RMT Jonathan Chow is running a GoFundMe that started at $500 and has now exceeded $6,000. Every $100 of proceeds will go towards purchasing meals from 5 Chinese restaurants (Yummy Yummy Dumplings, Hong Kong Island, Hong Fatt BBQ, King's Noodles, and Rol Jui.) Meals will then be donated to Community Fridges Toronto.
Wong's Ice Cream
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