April 22, 2021 

CONTACT: Kathy Melley, (617) 791-0708 

(BOSTON, MA) — Today, the U.S. Senate passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, legislation sponsored by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Grace Meng (DI-NY) to address the rise of hate crimes and violence targeted at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). The bill would assign a point person at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to expedite the review of COVID-19-related hate crimes. This would provide support for state and local law enforcement agencies to respond to these hate crimes, and facilitate coordination among local and federal partners to mitigate racially discriminatory language used to describe the pandemic. 

Statement of Emily Stewart, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to Senate passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act: 

“Community Catalyst applauds Senate passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes bill. Racist acts of violence and hate targeting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities put their health, safety, and well-being in jeopardy and significantly undermine the health of the entire community. Research shows victims of hate crimes suffer long-term effects like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While there is a lot of work to do to dismantle the underlying white supremacy that fuels these unconscionable attacks and permeates many aspects of our society, including our health system, the bill’s passage sends a strong signal from Congress that these hate crimes will not be tolerated and that people who commit them will be held accountable under the law.  

“The House should act quickly to pass the bill. We look forward to working with Congress and the Biden administration to root out racist policies and practices that harm the health and well-being of AAPI people, build a more equitable health system, and create a more just and tolerant nation where everyone can thrive.” 


About Community Catalyst: Community Catalyst is a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for health equity and justice. We partner with local, state, and national advocates to leverage community power so all people can influence decisions that affect their health. Health systems will not be accountable to people without a fully engaged and organized community voice. That’s why we work every day to ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @CommCatHealth