Food Justice is Social Justice: APALA Pittsburgh advances worker, immigrant and civil rights
By Beth Burrell
In July 2020 we launched our Food Justice is Social Justice Initiative with the intention of amplifying the voices of organizations focused on ending racism and creating equity for all. Since then we’ve partnered with numerous organizations serving the Black and Latino communities. Today we are proud to partner with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Pittsburgh which serves the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, a community which has historically faced racism and is once again facing anti-Asian violence amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance, reports of anti-Asian hate rose by 150 percent in 2020 with nearly 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian hate recorded in the United States from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021.
On March 25, 2021, following the Atlanta-area spa shooting, APALA Pittsburgh teamed up with the ECAASU: East Coast Asian American Student Union at the University of Pittsburgh to hold a rally to fight for justice, to build coalitions and rally around solidarity.
We are thankful for the work of APALA Pittsburgh and are delighted to partner with them today for this Food Justice is Social Justice takeover.
President & CEO
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Pittsburgh (APALA Pittsburgh) is a national organization of AAPI union members and allies advancing worker, immigrant and civil rights.
While historically the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has faced racism, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a dramatic increase in the frequency and severity of these incidents. Stop AAPI Hate has logged 3,800 + hate incidents nationwide since March 2020, and since most people would not report their experiences of these incidents on this website, the number of incidents is very likely to be much higher. Since the pandemic began, many people have unfairly equated AAPIs with the virus itself, AAPI businesses have suffered from unwarranted fear or resentment, unemployment in the community has dramatically spiked and AAPIs have been dying disproportionately of COVID-19.
We believe that to adequately respond to these acts of violence and inequities, we must work with our neighbors to fight against the forces that have given rise to generational trauma and longstanding racism, and to imagine together what anti-racist justice, safety, and healing can look like in our country and in the Pittsburgh region.
We are grateful to the Food Bank for giving us the platform for our voices to be heard and to educate the community on the racism the AAPI community faces and the ways in which APALA Pittsburgh is serving the community.