Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will join a slew of lawmakers and advocates at the progressive AAPI Victory Alliance group’s virtual summit on May 19, The Hill learns.
Clinton will address the inaugural Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Unity Summit, which will be hosted by the AAPI Victory Fund, amid a rise in violence and hate crimes against members of the AAPI in the U.S.
“AAPI electoral power is on the rise and it’s time AAPI communities get the same recognition, resources, and support as every other ethnic group,” Clinton said in a statement. “AAPIs are diverse and growing communities with their own set of challenges and opportunities, and we need to acknowledge that and work to empower them in diverse ways.”
Hate crimes against the AAPI community have skyrocketed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Anti-Asian hate incidents increased from 3,795 to 6,603 in the period between March 2020 and March 2021, according to Stop AAPI Hate. At the same time, more Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are becoming politically active in the U.S.
AAPI Victory Alliance has also invited eight U.S. senators of color to engage in a dialogue about coalition-building at the summit, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), among others.
The senators have floated the idea of formally creating a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Caucus.
AAPI voters turned out in record numbers in 2020 and played a role in Democratic wins, according to community organizers.