Asian Gold Ribbon Campaign combats anti-Asian racism
With the tragic reality of anti-Asian hate crimes on the rise, Athabasca University (AU) Professor and psychologist Dr. Gina Wong is taking a stand for a second year in a row.
In 2021, Wong launched the Asian Gold Ribbon Campaign, aimed at raising funds and recruiting individuals, organizations, and communities to demonstrate solidarity against anti-Asian racism and to support the mental health of victims and survivors. This year, she’s doing it again.
Rooted from her own experiences of racism throughout her life, Wong has recognized that these experiences are seldom talked about, and much invisibility exists at a systemic level.
Despite efforts to increase awareness of anti-Asian racism since the start of the pandemic, the latest research shows an alarming increase in verbal and violent assaults against Asian communities.
“This campaign is inspiring outward expression of Asians, so we no longer suppress our voices,” she said. “We need to be visible, and we need to be seen. We need social change and the Asian Gold Ribbon Campaign is a place to unite and celebrate Asian heritage and culture, and show solidarity against anti-Asian racism.”
During the inaugural Asian Gold Ribbon Campaign, Wong garnered support from many high-profile celebrities and public figures including actor Samuel. L Jackson, former governor general Adrienne Clarkson, former Edmonton mayor Don Iveson, and Toronto Mayor John Tory.
This year on May 20, world-famous Canadian landmarks will be lit up in gold including the Vancouver City Hall, Burrard Bridge, and Princes’ Gates at Exhibition Place in Toronto, with more to be confirmed.
“The AGR gold is used to reclaim the colour yellow that has been used historically to denigrate and disparage the Asian race (“yellow peril”) and in turn become a symbol of celebrating Asian heritage and culture,” explained Wong.
Amplifying Asian voices
This week, Wong will be featured in a number of TV segments. Last year, she was featured in an episode of Context Beyond the Headlines called Stop Asian Hate where she spoke about the current state of emergency, the psychological impact, and how further education on racism is essential.
She’s also had two articles featured in The Conversation: Asian Heritage Month: Gold ribbons show hope and solidarity amid anti-Asian violence and Year of the Tiger an opportunity for bold changes in combatting anti-Asian racism.
How can you show your support?
May 20 is now known as Asian Gold Ribbon Day, corresponding with Asian Heritage Month. A virtual campaign will coincide with this day to amplify solidarity against anti-Asian racism and to celebrate Asian heritage and culture.
To show support, Wong is encouraging allies to wear a gold ribbon or a mask, add the insignia to your email signature, or update your profile photo frame on social media.
- Show support by wearing a gold ribbon (watch a quick tutorial to make your own)
- Update your Microsoft Teams background (learn how with these steps)
- Add a temporary frame or AGR campaign image to your social media
- Join the conversation on social media using #AsianGoldRibbon and tagging @AsianGoldRibbon (Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter)
She said Asians and non-Asians adorning gold ribbons demonstrates courage and unity to stand up against anti-Asian racism. It is an outward expression signifying pride in Asian heritage and culture. Watch the video below to learn how to make your own gold ribbon.
Asian Women’s Mental Health Summit – May 20, 3-5 p.m. (Eastern)
Together with community allies, participants will remember Michelle Go and Christina Yuna Lee and hear about the impact of gender-based and race-based racism on Asian women. They will unite and develop calls to action for Asian women’s mental health support in Canada, where bold changes are needed to end race-based traumatic stress.