Stopping hate: Austin Civil Rights Office steps in against AAPI harassment, violence

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — There is a new push in Austin to stop violence against Asian Americans.

A report by Stop AAPI Hate ranked Texas fourth for most hate incidents reported, and because of the rise in this activity, Austin’s Office of Civil Rights will host an education outreach workshop series.

“We wanted to create an opportunity, an avenue, a venue, for the community to really talk about the issues,” said Carol Johnson, an officer in Austin’s Civil Rights Office, “and come up with meaningful ways to address it and first and foremost it is just education on what are your civil rights.”

In Texas, AAPI Stop Hate reports that people of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese nationalities are the most heavily targeted groups within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

A closer look at the data from the report shows that out of all the incidents reported, 64% involved verbal harassment with almost 14% involving physical assault.

The workshop series will educate people on civil rights investigations and is geared toward reducing the negative impacts of hate biases toward the AAPI community in Austin.

The Office of Civil Rights and the Austin Police Department will provide education on how to identify civil rights violations, how to respond to hate bias and discrimination, and how to report civil rights violations.

The free virtual events will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, September 16 and 2-4 p.m. Saturday, October 9. Workshops will be available in Chinese Mandarin, Vietnamese and Korean languages.

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