(CNN)Vice President Kamala Harris will serve as the keynote speaker for a virtual unity summit for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders this week, her latest outreach to a community that has faced a wave of racially motivated crimes during the pandemic and is growing as a voting bloc.
Harris, the first person of South Asian descent to serve as vice president, will address the AAPI Victory Alliance’s first ever unity summit on Wednesday, the group told CNN. The virtual event, titled “From Victory to Unity,” will feature celebrities like Tan France and Simu Liu as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
“It’s time we call our communities together to discuss strategies for engaging and mobilizing in the future,” said Varun Nikore, executive director of the AAPI Victory Alliance. “Vice President Harris is an inspiration for all of our AAPI children who now know that the sky’s the limit and you can be anything in this country that they strive for.”
Reported hate crimes against Asians in 16 of the nation’s largest cities and counties are up 164% since this time last year, according to a study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State University San Bernardino. A separate study from Stop AAPI Hate released earlier this month found there were at least 2,410 anti-Asian hate incidents in the first three months of this year.
Hate crimes against Asians often go underreported due to the lack of mandatory national reporting requirements by police agencies, but also because of other factors that could deter victims from calling the police, such as: longstanding distrust of law enforcement, language barriers, and immigration status.
Harris’s appearance, which comes during AAPI Heritage Month, will be the vice president’s latest expression of solidarity with the community. After a
Harris headlines unity summit for AAPI community
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