For Immediate Release
May 5, 2020
Calgary-AB Act2endracism launches a new text and online reporting tool to gather information on microaggressions, hate speech and racism directed towards Asians due to Covid-19. The tool is the latest resource to be developed in Canada to gather information on incidents, which often go unreported.
The texting and online reporting tool is a virtual helper named, ‘Mei’ , which takes a victim through a series of questions to document an incident. Mei was developed by Linda Chan, the founder of BIGBPS Technology Solutions in Calgary. The technology was created for the financial and mortgage industry initially but with escalating violence and aggression towards Asians due to the pandemic, Chan adapted it as a mechanism to report hateful incidents.
Former Alberta MLA Teresa Woo-Paw, of Action, Chinese Canadians Together (ACCT) Foundation, stated, “May is Asian Heritage Month and we thought it was the perfect name for the new multilingual, national text line. Racism is ugly and we wanted to make reporting easier and more supportive. It’s quick and easy to use. We encourage people to share their experiences to build community.”
ACT2endracism was created in just two weeks as a coordinated response between thousands of concerned Canadians worried about escalating anti-Asian sentiment. The network pressed the Conservative Party to expel one of its MPs for racist remarks directed at Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam. The inaction from our leaders normalizes hateful behaviour.
Judy Hanazawa, Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association President, added,
“We encourage everyone to add this number, 587-507-3838 to their contact list. We offer support to victims and it allows bystanders to file a report if they witness an attack. If you are injured and in immediate danger you should call 911.”
The reporting tool offers an option to those who may be uncomfortable with reporting incidents to police. The network is collaborating with other community organizations, which are also collecting data.