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Bay Area Tech Firms, Asian American Execs Announce Major Donation, Pledge To AAPI Community

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- On Wednesday, some of the biggest tech companies in the Bay Area announced a major donation to help stop attacks targeting the AAPI community.

The headline is simply one word - 'Enough.'

Taking up one page in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, the open letter from dozens of Asian American business leaders across various industries says they're committed to change and fighting violence and discrimination against Asians.

The letter reads in part:

We, the Asian American business leaders of America, are tired, angry and afraid - and not for the first time. We are tired of being treated as less than American, subject to harassment and now, every day, we read about another member of our community being physically attacked — simply for being Asian. We are afraid for the safety of our loved ones. We are angry that our families can no longer go outside in their own neighborhoods where they have lived for decades because it may not be safe.

We have given a lot to this country where we were born or to which we immigrated. Our community includes your cashiers, your teachers, your cooks, your doctors, your dry cleaners, your colleagues, your neighbors, your friends. We cut your nails. We write your code. We, together, have launched rovers to Mars and back. Many of us have created jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans. We choose to make America our home and we strive every day to make America better — just like you.

It is the biggest show of support and action from the Bay Area tech industry since the surge in attacks on Asian Americans.

"We've had enough of being beat up, being called names, being told our voices don't matter, being left out, and it's really this sort of overcoming this anger that's been boiling up in many of us, and 'hey we need to do something,'" said Justin Zhu, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based software startup Iterable.

What began as a conversation among a few executives after the mass shooting in Atlanta that killed six Asian American women, turned into a $10 million dollar pledge to action over the next year.

Community-based organizations receiving funding include Stop AAPI Hate, AAPI Women Lead, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Among the dozens of supporters are Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Yahoo co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang, and Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake.

"We've been building the railroads, mining the gold of the last century, we're still doing that today in the internet world, yet when our communities are hurt, and clearly we're not doing well, we're not given the space and given the protection that we need to function well in society," said Zhu, one of the main organizers.

To support Asian employees, leaders are also pledging to create and fund AAPI employee resource groups, so they have a safe space to tell their stories, receive support, and report discrimination without fear of retaliation.

The letter says women often bear the brunt of the harassment. "To ensure representation, we commit to reporting out on diversity of all groups and to redefine Asian Americans as a group worth representation at all levels of the organization."


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