Minnesota organization aims to stop hate incidents against Asian community

A Minnesota organization is working with community leaders to help stop hate-based incidents against Asian communities. The effort comes a week after eight people were killed at Atlanta-area spas.

Jinseoung S. Falk says she was walking down the store when she felt a push forward.

"I didn’t see the person," she told FOX 9 during an interview. "I only heard footsteps and felt the forward motion." 

Falk was treated at an area hospital after suffering from injuries to her forehead and shoulders following the fall. She didn’t see the person’s face and she’s not sure if the incident was race-related, but her injuries come as some people from the Asian American community say hate-based assaults are increasing.

Across the Twin Cities, local law enforcement agencies tell FOX 9 they have not seen an increase in the number of hate-based incidents reported.

However, some say just because there’s a lack of reporting does not mean it’s not happening. That’s why the Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) held a virtual discussion Wednesday called, "Unheard Stories: Asian Americans Experiencing Hate". The event served as a way for those who have experienced hate to tell share their stories.

"One day I was at the grocery store […] and a mother quickly snatched her daughter’s arm and yelled, 'Don’t get too close to that Asian girl. She’s the reason why we’re in a pandemic. If you get too close, you’re going to get sick,'" one participant said during CAAL’s virtual town hall.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) joined the meeting to ensure the more than 800 participants that Congress is working to stand with the Asian American community.

"I am honored to co-sponsor Congresswoman Grace Meng’s (D-NY) resolution to condemn all forms of hate," said Omar. "I recently co-signed the Hate Crimes Commission Act." 

As for Falk, she says having open conversations are a step in the right direction to bring awareness and change.  

"We need to come together, work together and be truthful about our experiences to bring a better community," she added.