The staff of the Asian Community & Cultural Center, a non-profit organization in Lincoln, is raising awareness for the Stop Asian Hate movement in Nebraska to support and protect the rights of Nebraska Asian Americans. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Reinhardt.
The staff of the Asian Community & Cultural Center, a non-profit organization in Lincoln, is raising awareness for the Stop Asian Hate movement in Nebraska to support and protect the rights of Nebraska Asian Americans. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Reinhardt. Pictured are: (from left to right) Jenn Worley, youth program coordinator; Lanetta (PoePoe) Edison-Soe, health programs coordinator/Burmese/Karen community advocate; JueYezi (Rebecca) Reinhardt, cultural programs coordinator/ Chinese community advocate; Khamisa Abdalla, women's program manager; Duy Linh Bui, programs coordinator/financial director; Sheila Dorsey Vinton, executive director/CEO; Candace Orton Eno, family resources program manager; Thu Le, Vietnamese community advocate; Thuy Ngoc Ho, Vietnamese community advocate; Samia Ahmed Abdel Mawla, middle eastern advocate; Nyabuoy Chan, Sudanese community advocate; Ommohal Koko, Sudanese program assistant.

In response to recent attacks on Asian Americans, Asian communities all over the country including Nebraska participated in the Stop Asian Hate movement.

Reinhardt, cultural program coordinator and Chinese community advocate of the Asian Community and Cultural Center in Lincoln, said their organization took action immediately after the attack incidents happened to protect Nebraska Asian Americans.

“The killings in Atlanta were very shocking and sad,” Rebecca Reinhardt said. “It made us realize that things like this can happen to anyone in our community. What we should do to stop hatred.”

She said the Asian Community and Cultural Center works closely with Lincoln Commission on Human Rights and the Lincoln Police Department to help people who experienced discrimination and hate crimes to report and help them with any lawsuits.

“We also provide training and educational classes to help people build safety awareness and encourage them to stand up for themself and say ‘no’ to discriminated acting,” she said.  

Asian Community Cultural Center Rebecca Reinhardt scaled - Nebraska Asian communities support Stop Asian Hate movement
Rebecca Reinhardt, cultural program coordinator and Chinese community advocate, hopes the Stop Asian Hate movement will improve the situation of Asian Americans in Nebraska and even the United States. Photo courtesy of Lincoln Chinese Cultural Association.

Reinhardt said the movement across the nation is an act of justice.

“It awakens Asians to rethink their current situation,” she said. “We hosted a candlelight vigil on March 25, 2021, and invited people from all ethnic groups to support Asians and denounce acts of hating Asians.”

She said the Asian Community and Cultural Center has also taken further measures to respond and support the Stop Asian Hate movement in Nebraska.

“We have issued a joint statement with various ethnic cultural associations to oppose discrimination against Asians,” Reinhardt said. “Luckily, there are very few cases like this in Nebraska.”

She said the center got a lot of phone calls from other Nebraska cultural communities to show their support in the past month.

Nkenge Friday, assistant vice chancellor for strategic initiatives, works at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Friday talked about the measures UNL has taken to promote diversity and inclusion in Nebraska Asian communities.

“In response to rising stigmas, prejudices, discrimination and racism that was noted for Asian and Asian Americans, we continuously partner and collaborate with the Office of Global Strategies and Student Affairs, in developing resources and initiatives for the upcoming academic year,” she said.

Friday said the ODI is also establishing policy recommendations that highlight and recommend mitigation strategies for the increased hate-related incidents for Asian and Asian Americans.

ODI Nkenge Friday - Nebraska Asian communities support Stop Asian Hate movement
Nkenge Friday, assistant vice chancellor for strategic initiatives, said ODI promotes diversity and equity audits (internal) and collaborates with several areas of UNL and the community to ensure they follow best practices. Photo courtesy of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“We are expanding our resource pages for campus and community education and awareness,” she said. “We delivered a Bystander Intervention webinar to equip the community to serve as active participants in stamping out hate.”

UNL ODI continuously develops and offers its educational and consulting services to the campus community.

After many incidents of hate and attack Asian incidents in the United States, the Nebraska Chinese Association also responded. 

“We are all shocked and saddened by the recent criminal acts and incidents of hatred and racism against Asian Americans in Nebraska and around the country,” said Linda Steele, president and board member of the Nebraska Chinese Association.

Steele said as members of the Nebraska Chinese Association (NCA), the core mission is to promote cultural diversity, awareness and friendship in the Nebraska community. 

“While these hateful acts seek to divide us, they also offer an opportunity and a cause for us all to rally around,” she said. “We stand against racism and discrimination in any form, and we hope that you will join us in condemning racism and spreading love, respect and kindness.”

She said the organization calls on members, coworkers, employers, neighbors, and the communities of Nebraska to be vigilant against racism and to offer support to the victims of such cowardly acts.

Nebraska Chinese Association - Nebraska Asian communities support Stop Asian Hate movement
The Nebraska Chinese Association calls on Nebraska Asians to apply for legal protection and exercise legal rights if they are discriminated against in their daily work and life. Photo courtesy of Justin Diep, March 2021.

As the Stop Asain Hate movement continues in the United States, Reinhardt offered advice for Asians in Nebraska who are still silent.

“We hope that more Asian people could speak out and report what they experienced discrimination or hate,” Reinhardt said. “The Asian people always keep silent in the face of humiliation, and it makes it difficult for us to help.”

She said the Asian Community and Cultural Center hopes to work together to make Lincoln a better place to stay.

The Asian Community and Cultural Center provides Nebraska Asians with many activities and programs, like mental health programs, family resource programs and cultural programs. 

“The purpose of these programs we hold is to help and support our clients in many aspects in Lancaster County,” she said.