The Fresno Center receives grant to fight against Asian hate

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As we honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the community continues to face bias related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One Fresno County organization is taking action to help heal the wounds of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

U.S.-based non-profit Stop AAPI Hate has tracked more than 10,000 hate incidents since March 2020, with the majority reported in California.

"We have people that are hurting in our community," said Cheri Cruz.

Fresno County is no exception to anti-Asian hate.

Cruz, with The Fresno Center, shared some of the incidents of hate reported to the organization.

"There was an incident with a Hmong man. He was attacked in Roeding Park," she said.

Cruz added: "An Asian man, he found his car was vandalized with hate messages, and this happened at a local grocery store and an ethnic market."

She also noted, "One of our school officials in Sanger had been discriminated against at IHOP restaurant."

The Fresno Center provides culture-based services to underserved communities.

With help from the Sierra Health Foundation, Cruz said the organization could expand its services.

A recently awarded grant will help fund the organization's latest effort to fight Asian hate.

The next 30 days will be dedicated to finding out how many in the AAPI community have been a victim of a hate crime. As Cruz mentioned, many go unreported.

The grant will also fund intervention and prevention services.

"We're going to teach community members how to have empathy through working with our holistic healing center, having arts and crafts, doing youth development, working across other racial groups," she said.

The Fresno Center says it also plans to work with other organizations and community leaders to build alliances and promote understanding.

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