Addressing Anti-Asian Violence

Anti-Asian crimes have spiked since the pandemic started, with more than 3,000 incidents occurring all across the country. What is behind this increase in hate crimes, what is being done about it, and what still needs to be done to stop it?

Join us for a discussion with three Asian American leaders about addressing anti-Asian violence in America.

Nikki Fortunato Bas is president of the Oakland City Council and represents District 2, one of the most diverse districts in the city. Since taking office in 2019, she led the passage of the strongest COVID-19 eviction moratorium in the state of California and a COVID-19 grocery worker hazard pay $5 wage bonus covering 2,000 workers in Oakland’s largest grocery stores. She authored fair chance housing protections for people who were formerly incarcerated, created a fund for community land trusts to prevent displacement and create permanently affordable, community-owned housing, introduced a progressive corporate tax that will be on the ballot in 2022, and is now leading a task force to reimagine public safety in Oakland with the goal of redirecting $150 million of the police budget toward programs and services that address the root causes of violence. She also serves on the National League of Cities’ inaugural Reimagining Public Safety Task Force. For two decades prior to being elected in 2018, Nikki pushed for worker, environmental, gender and racial justice. She organized immigrant garment workers to win their wages back in Oakland Chinatown, and she worked in coalitions to raise Oakland's minimum wage with paid sick leave and create living wage jobs on the Oakland Army Base and reduce diesel truck pollution at the Port of Oakland.

Russell Jeung is a professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. Dr. Jeung is author of several books and articles on race and religion, including Family Sacrifices: The Worldviews and Ethics of Chinese Americans (Oxford University Press, 2019); Mountain Movers: Student Activism and the Emergence of Asian American Studies (UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 2019); and At Home in Exile: Finding Jesus among My Ancestors and Refugee Neighbors (Zondervan, 2016) In 2020, Dr. Jeung launched Stop AAPI Hate, a project of Chinese for Affirmative Action, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, and San Francisco State Asian American Studies. It tracks COVID-19 related discrimination in order to develop community resources and policy interventions to fight racism.

Michelle Kim is a queer immigrant Korean American woman writer, speaker and entrepreneur challenging the status quo in tech and beyond. She is the CEO of Awaken, a leading provider of interactive equity and inclusion education programs facilitated by majority BIPOC educators, where she has consulted hundreds of organizations and top executives from Fortune 500, tech giants, nonprofits and government agencies to spark change. Michelle has been a lifelong social justice activist and has served on a variety of organizations, such as the San Francisco LGBTQ Speakers Bureau, San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Advisory Committee, LYRIC nonprofit’s board of directors, and Build Tech We Trust Coalition. Her work has appeared on platforms such as Harvard Business ReviewForbesThe New York Times, and NPR, and she has been named Medium’s Top Writer in Diversity three years in a row. Kim is the author of the upcoming book, The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change (Hachette, Fall 2021). 


The Commonwealth Club thanks Gilead Sciences, Inc. for its generous support of The Michelle Meow Show. 




The Michelle Meow Show thanks Kaiser Permanente for its support of independent LGBTQ media producers. 


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Kim photo by Andria Lo.

Image - Nikki Fortunato Bas

Nikki Fortunato Bas

President, Oakland City Council

Image - Russell Jeung

Russell Jeung

Professor of Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University; Author, Family Sacrifices: The Worldviews and Ethics of Chinese Americans

Image - Michelle Kim

Michelle Kim

CEO, Awaken; Author,The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change (Forthcoming)

Image - Michelle Meow

Michelle Meow

Producer and Host, "The Michelle Meow Show" on KBCW/KPIX TV and Podcast; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors; Twitter @msmichellemeow—Host