Grace Meng Stands Up to #StopAsianHate, eGirl Power Takes Message Across the Globe

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As the nation struggled to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, another virus spread simultaneously. In just one year since March 19, 2020, over 6,600 hate incidents were reported by Asian Americans.

Grace Meng (on left); Mamie Tape (on right)

Grace Meng (on left); Mamie Tape (on right)

Amy Mintz, Founder of eGirl Power believes that "At the core of Asian hate and all forms of racism is ignorance. Education is a key long-term solution to stop Asian hate."

eGirl Power, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, started the AAPI Initiative to unite efforts with the broader community to stop Asian hate through education, and to “Educate, Empower and Elevate” AAPI girls. The initiative was driven by a need to provide a dedicated safe space for AAPI girls to connect, share experiences, and learn about AAPI history.

As the eGirls explored AAPI history, they learned the story of Mamie Tape. Mamie was an eight-year-old Chinese girl who was denied entry into a primary school in San Francisco in 1885 because she was of Chinese descent. Her parents fought this injustice until the case was heard by the California Supreme Court who ruled that Mamie had the “same right to enter a public school” as any other child had because she was born in the U.S. and therefore a U.S. citizen.

However, this victory was quickly countered by the passage of a new state law reestablishing a separate school system for “children of Chinese and Mongolian descent.” Education is a crucial part of the American dream and the Tapes’ fight illustrates a time when AAPI people were excluded from pursuing that dream.

The eGirls, inspired by the bravery and persistence of the Tapes, have started a Letter Writing Campaign, through the AAPI initiative, to support the inclusion of AAPI history in the United States in curriculums across the country.

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) has introduced the Teaching Asian Pacific American History Act (H.R. 2283) that would provide a robust curriculum incorporating history and the vast contributions of the AAPI community to dispel prejudice. Meng urged that “For generations, Asian Pacific American history has been poorly represented or excluded from our K-12 education system...and it’s time for that to change as we work to combat the current rise in anti-Asian attacks related to COVID-19.”

In a recent survey, 42% of people in the U.S. could not name one prominent Asian American. It’s time we changed this.

You can help by writing your own letter of support to eGirl Power to help #StopAsianHate.

The rich tapestry of this nation is woven by the unique experiences of its people. AAPI history needs to be taught so that we can build empathy and understanding of the immigrant experience and the vast AAPI contributions to the rich culture and accomplishments of our diverse nation. As Mary Tape said, “We have always lived as Americans.”

Be a part of a movement and long-term solution to #StopAsianHate.

Please visit the AAPI Initiative to learn more about how you can help.