Standing with the AAPI Community Against Racism, Xenophobia, and Hate
Lyft is partnering with organizations including OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates, National Asian American Coalition, and National Asian Pacific Center on Aging to help vulnerable members of the AAPI community feel safer getting to their destinations.
In recent weeks, we have seen a horrifying rise in violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. This surge in deadly hate crimes comes after the U.S. recorded over 3,000 anti-Asian hate incidents in 2020 alone. Hate crimes are notoriously underreported and experts estimate that actual numbers may be much higher in the wake of COVID-related xenophobia.
Racism, xenophobia, and hate have no place in our communities. It’s our responsibility to stand in solidarity with the AAPI community as it faces this crisis. That starts by ensuring AAPI riders feel safe using our services, but also means working with our community partners and identifying opportunities where Lyft can do more. Survivors, their families, and all members of the AAPI community deserve to live without the threat of discrimination, harassment, or violence.
“We condemn the acts of hate against the Asian American community — and when there are threats to our communities, there’s no question we come to their support," said John Zimmer, Co-Founder & President, Lyft. "We're working with our AAPI community partners together to provide access to alternative transportation options for older citizens to access food, jobs, and essential services, including vaccination appointments.”
As part of our ongoing support of the community, we've doubled down on our support for organizations including OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates, National Asian/Pacific American Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Asian American Federation, Asian Media Access, Self Help for the Elderly, and Asian Counseling and Referral Service by providing additional ride grants. Through these partnerships, we will continue to support the transportation needs of AAPI communities to access essential goods and services, such as rides to the grocery store and to medical appointments, during the pandemic. This comes as part of a long-standing commitment to AAPI communities through our LyftUp program. We’ve worked with our well-established partners, like the National Asian American Coalition and the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, to offer access to transportation, and they are continuing to work with us to provide access to rides for low-income and at-risk communities to and from vaccination appointments as a part of our larger Universal Vaccine Access Campaign.
Linda Ng, President, OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates shared with us what she’s seeing in her community and how Lyft has been able to help: “The rise of hate incidents has struck fear into the AAPI community, but we are grateful to our partners, like Lyft, who have been stepping up with resources to help our community feel safer. Lyft's support during this time also highlights this issue of anti-Asian hate incidents, which is currently being underreported and overlooked in national media. As we continue to provide active bystander and situational awareness trainings nationwide, we are grateful that Lyft makes our seniors and other vulnerable community members feel safer traveling to their essential destination."
"Many Asian American and Pacific Islander older adults are being impacted particularly hard by both the COVID-19 crisis and this recent wave of hate crimes.” said Joon Bang, CEO, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging. “We’re thankful for our partnership with Lyft as they work with us to help make our Asian American and Pacific Islander older adults throughout the country feel safer traveling to and from vaccination appointments.”
“As we have seen our community impacted by this rise in hate crimes as well as with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful for Lyft’s support of our COVID-19 Emergency Home Delivered Meals program,” said Anni Chung, President & CEO, Self Help for the Elderly. “Lyft helped us serve thousands of homebound seniors by delivering over 45,000 meals since mid-April. Now, we are especially grateful that seniors are also able to feel more comfortable traveling to and from vaccination appointments.”
“We are heartened to see Lyft continuing to step up to support the transportation needs of vulnerable members in our community when they need reliable rides to access essential health and wellness services,” said Sarita Kohli, President & CEO, Asian Americans for Community Involvement. “These rides have made it possible for our low-income, marginalized clients to seek the care they need during COVID-19 and has even helped domestic violence survivors escape unsafe situations. We are proud to partner with them to strengthen the resilience and hope of our community during this challenging time.”
By Heather Foster, Head of National Policy Engagement at Lyft
Note: We’ve intentionally chosen to use the term Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) to refer to the community collectively. We recognize that both the Asian American & Pacific Islander communities face unique challenges, and that the recent acts of violence have primarily impacted the Asian-American community.
December 22, 2020