Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have suffered a spike in hate crimes and violence in the United States. In response, we’ve been working with AAPI Rioters to educate Riot and support AAPI Rioters and players. 

This month we partnered with Hollaback! and Asian Americans Advancing Justice to host a bystander intervention training aimed at preventing anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment. All Rioters were welcome and encouraged to join the training, which covered Hollaback!’s “5Ds” of bystander intervention: distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct. Rioters were given examples of disrespect that AAPI folks are facing right now—from microaggressions to violence.  They were then shown how to intervene in each scenario using the 5Ds while also prioritizing their own safety.

“The training was a great gateway for allies to learn about the different forms of anti-Asian racism,” shares Iris Zhang, one of the Rioters who helped organize the training. “Even as someone who considers themselves fairly educated on the topic of racism, I came away with proven strategies for defending others and myself in the moment. I also appreciated the presenters' vulnerability in leaning into their own lived experiences.” 

We’ll continue to work with organizations like Hollaback! and AAJC to provide support and education to Rioters, players, and the greater AAPI community. If you’re interested in learning more about Hollaback!’s training, they have a variety of resources on harassment and bystander intervention training available for free to the public.