WITH May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month — and the recent surge in hate crimes and incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) — Facebook has announced a host of actions to support the community.
The social media giant will be donating $5 million to organizations focusing on racial justice and equity with the AAPI community and other marginalized communities. This builds on its commitment last year of $10 million in racial justice grants.
As the rise in violence and discrimination in the community has taken a toll on many individuals’ mental health, Facebook is expanding its comment warning features on Facebook and Instagram. It is also partnering with Asians for Mental Health to publish a guide on its Emotional Health Resource Center to help people have conversations about mental health, to encourage them to make emotional health a priority and and take a #MentalHealthMinute.
Other content on the social media platform will include “See Us, Hear Us,” featuring testimonials from AAPI community users; “Written By,” articles on Facebook Company social accounts amplifying stories from its diverse members; and #RethinkOurInfluence on Instagram, a campaign with AAPI creators who are “breaking the mold and pushing culture forward.”
Facebook apps will also have actions that users can take to continually support the AAPI community, which include a #StopAsianHate notification at the top of users’ Newsfeed where they can donate to API organizations standing against hate and discrimination.
The Facebook app will have new stickers and avatar expressions and Instagram will feature AR/VR filters and share stickers designed in collaboration with NY-based digital artist Dingding Hu (@huishungry). Meanwhile on WhatsApp, users can share stickers designed by illustrator Gracia Lam, focused on highlighting the strength of women from Asia and the Pacific Islands.
For those who want to support AAPI-owned businesses, the Shop features on Facebook and Instagram will feature a select group of businesses to shop from.
There will also be virtual programs throughout APAHM, including “See Us Unite For Change,” a celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. This first-of-its-kind special will be hosted by Ken Jeong and feature Asian American and Pacific Islander celebrities and allies who will educate viewers about the community’s impact in America, as well as how to move forward and build solidarity against hate. The event will be hosted by the Board of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) in partnership with the Ford and MacArthur Foundations and produced by Sheila Lirio Marcelo, a TAAF board member, Jesse Collins, Kimmie Kim and Carol Donovan of Jesse Collins Entertainment with MTV Entertainment Studios.