Program: Asian American Legal Defense Fund
Year Founded: 1974
TFish Member Since: 2020
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a New York-based national organization founded in 1974, protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans.
By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.
AALDEF focuses on critical issues affecting Asian Americans, including immigrant rights, voting rights and democracy, economic justice for workers, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, and the elimination of anti-Asian violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking.
AALDEF has a 14-person staff, including seven lawyers and two organizers. We are assisted by over 300 volunteers, including pro bono attorneys, community workers, and students. AALDEF receives financial support from foundations, corporations, individual contributions and special fundraising events.
Here are some ways AALDEF has responded to the coronavirus pandemic:
- Criticizing the use of racialized terms to describe coronavirus. The recent spike in anti-Asian violence is clearly linked to the repeated use of such terms as "Wuhan virus" and "Chinese virus" by the president, elected officials, and media outlets. Assailants have repeatedly used racial slurs against Asians in subways, hotels, schools, and other public spaces. AALDEF has repeatedly criticized the use of racialized terms that put Asian Americans at risk for increased hate violence: You can also read AALDEF's statement denouncing the use of racist terms like "Chinese virus.".
- Challenging police responses to anti-Asian harassment. AALDEF has criticized the dismissive attitudes toward Asian Americans by some law enforcement officers. A recent incident in New York City involved a man at Penn Station who spit on a Korean American, shouting "All of you should die and all of you have the Chinese virus." We have assisted individuals who want to file complaints with the police or other government agencies and seek to empower others to speak out about the anti-Asian harassment they have faced. If you have any questions or problems to report, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212.966.5932, and we will respond as soon as we can.
- Documenting incidents of coronavirus-related racism. We have been collecting information about incidents of racial harassment and anti-Asian violence related to coronavirus. Some people have contacted us about their own experiences; others have passed along stories from their friends. If you would like to report an incident, please email us at email@example.com.