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Friday, April 23, 2021

Former NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza Takes a Job With IXL, Ignoring Conflicts of Interest Board Guidelines

Ex-chancellor Richard Carranza's new gig with a DOE vendor raises serious
conflict-of-interest concerns. photo: Paul Martinka

I actually feel sorry for DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson. She has to support the NYC Department of Education as a public agency that puts children, the law, and ethical employment policies in place when this is so obviously untrue.

See the story about Deputy Chief of Staff David Hay, just one example; another is the harm that Francesco Portelos has done to children, co-workers, everyone who crosses his path and yet remains a permanent teacher paid with a sweetheart deal by the NYCDOE.

Lucio Celli, who in November 2018 threatened to stab to death three judges in the Federal Courts, was put in jail then released on bond paid by his parents with the condition that he is prohibited from using the internet (and thus cannot have any contact whatsoever with kids or anyone) and he cannot leave his parent's house ....yet remains, throughout 2020 according to on salary at $118,000.00:

Celli's criminal trial starts on May 17, 2021, in the Eastern District Court in Brooklyn.

My work centers around helping teachers who are being charged with acts they never committed and are being placed into 3020-a arbitration disciplinary hearings where the DOE's focus is on termination of employment. So many of these educators are innocent. Lucio Celli however has never been brought to a 3020-a. Francesco Portelos was and received a $10,000 fine with a warning to stop his harassment of co-workers. He ignored this and set up UFT Solidarity, which in my opinion is a hate group that attacks anyone who someone says did something bad, without proof. I and others call this libel and defamation.

Teachers are picked randomly to be charged and terminated, but one common theme is that no one can say anything bad about a principal or higher-ups in the DOE leadership (except, it seems, for Portelos and UFT Solidarity):
NYC Education official likened Stuyvesant High to Chinatown: lawsuit

It is interesting that an educator no longer works at the DOE after reporting a "derogatory" statement with the word "Chinatown" in it? Huh?

What is most worrisome is the fact that politicians in NYC are not doing anything to change the policy of "hands-off" to the unethical hiring practices or actions by the DOE.

The press secretary to Comptroller and Mayoral hopeful Scott Stringer is quoted below as saying,

" “The DOE often spends beyond registered contract maximums before submitting amendments or extensions to the comptroller’s office,” said Hazel Crampton-Hays, press secretary for Comptroller Scott Stringer."

When Mr. Stringer was Public Advocate, he also looked the other way when I brought information to him about NYC DOE policies that harmed parents and students, such as the case involving Johnnie Mae Allen and her son.

Without any consequences to bad acts, those people who choose to commit bad acts will continue to do them. The New York state legislature should pass legislation holding the Department and the Mayor accountable for misconduct and actions which are improper or wrong under state laws and common sense.

Betsy Combier
Editor, ADVOCATZ blog
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

Richard Carranza’s new firm made millions off COVID-19 pandemic in NYC
by Susan Edelman, NY POST, April 10, 2021

The California ed-tech firm that hired ex-schools Chancellor Richard Carranza cashed in on the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC, reaping millions of dollars from the Department of Education under his reign, records show.

IXL Learning, Inc. — which named Carranza its chief of strategy and global development — has been paid $3.3 million by the DOE in the past two years alone. 

The Silicon Valley outfit has collected $2.1 million in NYC taxpayer funds this school year. That nearly doubled the $1.2 million it made last school year as the DOE expanded remote instruction, according to records compiled by the city comptroller’s office.

Observers expect IXL’s windfall to grow with Carranza as its salesman.

He “brings to the table a wealth of contacts and people who owe him favors” in New York, Houston and San Francisco, where he has led school districts, said Alina Adams, a Manhattan mom and writer who runs the website “NYC School Secrets: Parents Helping Parents.”

“Some of the people in charge of deciding whether or not to buy IXL products will be the same people that Carranza hired.”   

Carranza’s new gig as a top executive for a DOE vendor raises serious conflict-of-interest questions.

Under NYC laws, city employees may not seek jobs — including submit a resume, discuss opportunities, or interview — with a company they are dealing with as part of their city job, the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB) states.

Carranza announced his resignation on Feb. 26, saying he needed time to grieve 11 loved ones lost to COVID-19.  IXL announced his hiring in a press release dated April 1, less than three weeks after his last day as chancellor.

The company did not respond to questions about when they began negotiating with Carranza. The DOE said Carranza “followed all job-hunting conflict and recusal rules while securing his job with IXL”

Other rules prohibit former city employees in the private sector from disclosing or using “confidential information” for personal advantage. They can’t communicate with their former city agency on behalf of a new employer or business for a year. And they can “never” work on a matter, such as a contract, for a non-city employer if they worked on it for the city.

“It’s a judgment call on what inside information falls within the prohibition,” said Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor David Bloomfield. “It will be hard not to use the information [Carranza] has to benefit his new employer.”

DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson said, “Former Chancellor Carranza has pledged to follow all conflicts rules and will not engage with DOE or NYCDOE school officials on behalf of IXL for one year.”

IXL provides educational software on math, language arts, science, and social students for grades K-12, and tools such as Rosetta Stone, the foreign language program IXL acquired, Filson said.

The DOE has paid IXL about $5.6 million since 2011, the comptroller’s records show.  In 2016, under former Chancellor Carmen Fariña, the DOE awarded IXL a seven-year contract at a maximum cost of $1,041,869, but payments have exceeded that — against procurement rules.

 “The DOE often spends beyond registered contract maximums before submitting amendments or extensions to the comptroller’s office,” said Hazel Crampton-Hays, press secretary for Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Since last year, the DOE has installed IXL software, among others, in some 500,000 city-purchased iPads for students to study remotely due to COVID-19. This did not cost extra, the DOE said.

The IXL Learning website says: “1 in 5 NYC students use IXL. In the past school year, they have collectively mastered 240,046 skills and become proficient in 344,062 skills!” It adds: “14,130,041 questions answered by NYC students.”

The DOE could not vouch for the numbers and IXL would not explain their basis.

Many online reviews by students and parents nationwide blast IXL software, which “gamifies” instruction, for a point system that brings some kids to tears.

“I once walked into my daughter’s bedroom to see her poised to SMASH her computer on the floor after 3 hours of IXL,” a parent wrote.

A 17-year-old said in a post that nine of 10 kids “not only hate IXL but would rather read a hardcover book. That’s not normal for this generation.” He added, “I’ve also found that while answering questions in IXL people tend to get anxious, angry, upset, frustrated, and sometimes depressed.”

From the NYPOST Editorial Board April 13, 2021:

Carranza’s new gig: Working for company that won big contracts when he ran NYC school

As chancellor of the city’s public schools, Richard Carranza talked endlessly about equity. But maybe he was using the job to build his own “equity.”

In late February, Carranza announced his exit as of March 15, tearing up as he said he needed time to grieve 11 family and close childhood friends lost to the coronavirus.

Now comes news that Carranza has taken a job with California firm IXL Learning, an e-learning company that landed $3.3 million in contracts from the city Department of Education on his watch, and about $5.6 million since 2011.

The Post’s Susan Edelman reports that the Silicon Valley firm collected $2.1 million this school year and $1.2 million the year before, profiting greatly from the DOE’s rush to make remote instruction work.

IXL sells educational software on math, language arts, science, and social students for grades K-12, programs now installed in some 500,000 city-bought iPads handed to students as the pandemic shuttered schools (and the United Federation of Teachers kept them closed).

Hilariously, ethics rules mean Carranza can’t work on IXL’s accounts with the city for a year. Yet cynics will suggest he’s already gotten plenty of value out of New York for the company, which surely made it easier for him to get the new job. Indeed, its income from the DOE was rising on his watch even pre-COVID.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a Democrat running for city comptroller, is calling for an independent investigation into any conflict-of-interest rule-breaking or bending of procurement rules here. “It’s outrageous that millions of taxpayer dollars were awarded by the DOE to a company whose learning programs have been blasted by parents and students at the same time that the former school chancellor was interviewing for a high-powered position at that same company,” she told The Post.

It stinks to high heaven that IXL Learning’s new “chief of strategy and global development” was in charge of city schools at a time when the company made out like a bandit. Current Comptroller Scott Stringer and/or the Conflicts of Interest Board should certainly take a look.

If it turns out to be perfectly legal, then the city needs better protection against such incestuous games.

Carranza’s new gig: Working for company that won big contracts when he ran NYC schools

City councilman calls for investigation into Richard Carranza’s new job

Richard Carranza was fined for taking his wife, Monique, to see "Hamilton" on Broadway
using a Department of Education ticket.[
Matthew McDermott for NY Post]

Richard Carranza fined for taking wife to ‘Hamilton’ with special DOE discount
, NY POST, April 22, 2021

He was a bad actor.

Former schools Chancellor Richard Carranza improperly took his wife on a Department of Education outing to see the hit show “Hamilton” — and the abuse of power got him slapped with a $1,100 fine, it was revealed Thursday.

The departed administrator, who landed a private-sector job with a California education tech firm that does business with the DOE, brought his spouse to a special production for employees in April 2019.

In a statement, the New York Conflicts of Interest Board said Carranza should not have purchased a special $10 discounted ticket for his spouse since she was not a DOE employee.

“The Chancellor used a ticket for his wife that typically would have been distributed to DOE employees,” the agency said in a release. “He paid $10 for the ticket, which was the price listed on the tickets for DOE students and chaperones.”

The former city school's boss told the board it was an honest mistake.

In his case disposition, Carranza claimed his chief of staff erroneously told him at the time that he could take his wife as long as he paid for his ticket. 

“I attempted in good faith to comply with the applicable rules,” he said.

The board ruled the purchase constituted a “misuse of city position” and demanded that Carranza cough up a fine.

“In using the ticket for his wife, the Chancellor used his City position to benefit his wife, a person with whom he is ‘associated,'” the agency said. “The now-former Chancellor paid a $1,100 fine to the board.”

The Richard Rodgers Theatre event was emceed by a cast member and included student performances, a question-and-answer portion with “Hamilton” performers, and a matinee performance.

“We hold all of our City employees to the highest possible ethical standard,” said DOE spokesperson Danielle Filson. “The former Chancellor has acknowledged his mistake and the Board determined the penalty.”

After three rocky years at the helm, Carranza left the DOE in February. He cited the loss of friends and family to COVID-19 as a contributing factor and said he needed to heal emotionally.

He soon landed a gig with IXL Learning, a firm that has long done millions of dollars in business with the DOE.

City Councilman Robert Holden on Thursday escalated his push to probe Carranza’s private sector move.

Holden called for a federal investigation in a letter to acting Eastern District US Attorney Mark Lesko.

“Considering the short timeframe in which Chancellor Carranza was hired, please investigate whether negotiations between then-Chancellor Carranza and IXL took place while New York City still employed the Chancellor,” he wrote.

The DOE has said that Carranza’s transition was above board.

“Former Chancellor Carranza has pledged to follow all conflicts rules and will not engage with DOE or NYCDOE school officials on behalf of IXL for one year,” a DOE spokesperson said of Holden’s concerns.

Richard Carranza leaves in the middle of a crisis — and NYC is better off without him
NYPOST 2/26/21

Richard Carranza’s Last Stand
New York Magazine, April 13, 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

Asian-American Parents Sue The Department of Education For Harassment and Racial Bias

 Members and supporters of the Asian-American community  attend a "rally against hate" at Columbus Park
 in New York City on March 21, 2021. Three massage parlors around Atlanta were targeted March 16, 2021,
and a 21-year-old suspect was arrested. Robert Aaron Long faces eight counts of murder and one charge of aggravated
© ED JONES, AFP via Getty Images

As a parent of two children who were students at Stuyvesant High School 1999-2008, I can say that I did not see any racial inequality among the students nor parents....until Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Sumitake Nakazato became Co-Presidents of the Parent's Association in the fall of 2007, and Paola De Kock, a parent and also an Attorney, attacked the Chinese parents for citing financial mismanagement.

This is Paola De Kock's Linkedin page:
It is incomprehensible to me that the NYC Department of Education made her Director of the Office of  Family and Community Engagement in 2013, where she still is today, I assume.

Parent Mary Lok was the most outspoken of the Chinese parents at Stuy., and we decided that we just were not going to buckle under the assault of the Executive Board. Mary and the other parents in the Chinese or Asian parent groups came to me as Editor of the Parent Association Newspaper "PA Bulletin" and asked for my help in uncovering information on missing PA money (more than $300,000).

I decided to run for PA President with Mary Lok, to see what would happen. It was war. The white-skin parents (sorry, but I have to describe them that way) attacked me and Mary consistently. I despise hate crimes against anyone, any group, at any time. Nonetheless, I ignored the bullies. However, Mary was very upset. I remember one day in the cafeteria at Stuy right before the PA meeting began, I and Mary were sitting together, and Paola De Kock came over to us and told Mary that she had to leave, she was not welcome. I suggested that Paola stop the nonsense immediately. She didn't, and then told me to leave too, or she would get school security. I took out my press pass and my cell phone, and told her that she should re-think her statement, as I was calling all the local news stations as well as the Daily News and NY POST.

She went away.

I wrote about the attacks Mary Lok and I experienced at Stuy, and the actions of NYC Law Department Attorney Jane Gordon, who agreed to the harassment:

Stuyvesant High School Parents' Association is Cited For Financial Fraud and Discrimination

September 11, 2002, a Year Later, But a Minute Away For Stuyvesant High School Students in New York City

New York City should be proud of the recognition given to Specialized High Schools that admit anyone of any color, race, or creed, who need an extra hard curriculum because of their Gifted and Talented status. Indeed, the kids who I met over the years who were friends with two of my four daughters in Stuyvesant, all were exceptionally smart, but also young people who worked very hard when it came to learning, writing, and research. I am in support of keeping the test, the SHSAT, and keeping the high standard that the Specialized High Schools value in educational accomplishment.

Three of my children were in the DELTA Honors Program inside Booker T. Washington MS 54. Delta was one program in the building, when my kids were there the school had 5 programs. The DELTA students had a very rigorous curriculum and many different teachers specializing in certain areas - math, science, etc. The other programs did not have these teachers and did not receive the same curriculum. Why? In fact, I investigated what was happening, after I became aware that the kids in the programs other than DELTA were told not to take the SHSAT test for the specialized schools. I took parents on the Executive Board with me as we canvassed District 3 on the Upper West Side, and we spoke with parents about whether or not their 8th grade student was taking or had taken the test. 99% of the parents were Black/Hispanic, and all said that the Guidance Counselor told them the SHSAT was not for them. 

This was shocking. 

Instead of erasing these educational opportunities for kids, let's re-design the curriculum at all schools inside the NYC Department of Education so that all classes in every school have the same G&T curricula, with supports for students who need extra help meeting the high bar of achievement. Dont the naysayers to keeping G&T programs promote the slogan that "All children are gifted and talented"?

We need more of these schools, not less or none. We should set the standard higher for everyone, and help every child get there.

 City Has Lost Contact With 2,600 Students Since MarBetsy Combier

Asian-American Parents Sue New York City Schools Alleging Harassment, Racial Bias

Activists say Education Department’s diversity agenda often overlooks Asian students

Wall Street Journal, 

 Depositions will soon begin in a case in which five Asian-American parents of New York City public school students are suing the city’s Education Department, claiming they were harassed while protesting against the proposed changes to the agency’s gifted and talented admissions process.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status and names Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department, claims that at a DOE town hall meeting in Brooklyn in February 2020 about the controversial gifted program, the agency “treated Asian-Americans differently from non-Asians by prohibiting, restricting and/or limiting Asian-Americans’ access” to the meeting.

The parents and their co-plaintiff, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York, also allege that they were unfairly detained in retaliation for protesting outside the building before the meeting. Depositions are scheduled to begin next week in the case, which was filed in January.

Plaintiff Siu-Lin Linda Lam was “physically grabbed by police officers and school security agents and prevented from going inside the school building,” according to the group’s lawyer, Laura Barbieri.

DOE spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said no one was denied access to the meeting on any discriminatory basis.

She said the DOE’s goal is “making our public schools safe and inclusive for every student,” saying Asian students “need our support now more than ever, as we continue to deepen our work against racism and injustice.”

Students have to pass a test to be admitted to the city’s gifted and talented programs and selective high schools. Critics of the admissions tests have said that Black and Hispanic children are underrepresented in these programs because white and Asian families have more resources to pay for tutoring and navigating the programs’ complexities.

Since 2018, many of the clashes described in the lawsuit have centered around access to gifted elementary programs and the agency’s failed attempt to persuade state lawmakers to abolish an admissions test for elite public high schools like Stuyvesant.

Plaintiffs in the case say that the DOE’s diversity agenda often overlooks Asian students, as most of the Asian students in the DOE system are low-income and families are contending with the rise in crimes directed toward Asian-Americans.

Lucas Liu, a Chinese-American, sees the attempts to change the admissions process for the gifted classes and selective schools as an intentional effort to reduce the number of Asian students in the programs.

He cited a 2019 report from the city’s Independent Budget Office, which found that under Mr. de Blasio’s 2018 proposal to scrap the entrance exam for New York City’s elite high schools, the number of Asian students admitted would have dropped by half, to about 31% of offers. Offers to white students would have remained relatively flat.

Stuyvesant High School is a specialized school in Manhattan.


“Our goal is to reduce barriers, increase access and transparency, and introduce more diversity which benefits all students,” Ms. O’Hanlon said.

Asian students represent about 16% of the district’s enrollment and 54% of the students in the city’s specialized schools. About 68% of Asian students in the district live in poverty, compared with 83% of Hispanic students, 77% of Black students, and 42% of whites, according to DOE data.

Write to Lee Hawkins at

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the April 15, 2021, print edition as 'Parents Sue Over Admission To Program.'

Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York:
CACAGNY Calls Out DeBlasio for Scapegoating Asians in Specialized High Schools

(CACAGNY Activities)
CACAGNY Joins Lawsuit to Stop Discrimination Against Asians in Specialized High Schools (Brief Video)

CACAGNY Denounces Critical Race Theory as Hateful Fraud (For mobile: HTML)

OANN 3/23 Federalist 3/15 Newsweek 3/9 Epoch Times (English) 3/7

MBNC News 3/5 Washington Times 3/5 Asian Dawn 3/3 DailyFriend 3/1

石山角度 2/27 Epoch Times 2/27 Epoch Times 2/26 Fox News @ Night 2/26

Ingraham Angle 2/26 Daily Wire 2/25 Epoch Times (English) 2/25 Fox News 2/25

India Times Post 2/25 KCUE 2/25 RT 2/25 South Asian Express 2/25

ArabNews24 2/24 Bacon's Rebellion 2/24 Twitchy 2/24 Washington Examiner 2/24

CACAGNY and NYCRA Rally for the SHSAT

CACAGNY Joins Lawsuit Against DOE, Carranza, NYC, de Blasio, Others

Wall Street Journal 4/14/21 China Press 10/27/20 Epoch Times 10/30/20

New York Daily News 10/27/20 World Journal 10/28/20 World Journal 10/27/20
Actual Event of 2/4/20 at James Madison High School

CACAGNY Opposes Return to Racial Spoils in California (Statement) (Supporters) (Victory!)

CACAGNY Joins Appeals Court Amicus Brief Against Anti-Asian Discrimination in Harvard Lawsuit

At the Supreme Court (CACAGNY Amicus Brief 3/30 Epoch Times 3/31 Sing Tao 3/31)

CACAGNY Supports NUBC's Lawsuit Against New Jail (Continuing Story)

CACAGNY Congratulates NUBC 9/28/20

CACAGNY Urges Rejection of Referendum 88 and Racial Quotas in Washington State

Victory! (November 2019)

It's back -- and more devious this time! Deceptive Ballot Language (November 2020)

CACAGNY Participates in "Fire Carranza!" Rallies * * * * * Victory! * * * * *

>>>>> More <<<<<

Asian American activists are demanding equal civil rights, better education in schools after Asian hate attacks

Marc Ramirez
USA TODAY, March 26, 2021

Growing up, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng remembers the slurs and name-calling she and her fellow Asian Americans occasionally endured on the playgrounds of New York.

“It was just something we grew up with,” said Meng, who is now in her 40s. “We were taught to mind our own business, not to rock the boat. But what’s changed for my generation – even before the tragedy in Atlanta – is that people like me were starting to see people who look like their fathers and mothers and grandfathers getting beaten up. That really struck a nerve.”

Across the nation, such attacks, part of a rising wave of anti-Asian incidents over the past year, have shocked many Asian Americans. The March 16 slaying of eight people at three Atlanta spas, six of them Asian women, has further sparked both a sense of heightened activism from within the Asian American community and broad-based support from beyond.

The moment seems rich with opportunity. What’s to be done with this solidarity? For Asian American community leaders and activists, the answers range from creating better ballot access and greater political representation, expanding Asian American history instruction in schools and emboldening activist participation from untapped groups such as youth and the greater religious community. 

“It’s really important and meaningful that we have had such widespread support from all over the country,” Meng said. “As an Asian American born and raised here, I have never felt that in my entire life. We need to make the most of this moment.”

Anti-Asian sentiment has grown significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many in the community citing the disparaging rhetoric of the Trump administration as a factor. San Francisco-based Stop AAPI Hate, which tracks discrimination and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, tallied nearly 3,800 such incidents from March 2020 through February 2021.

More recently, results of an annual survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League showed that Asian Americans had suffered the largest spike in severe incidents of hate and harassment online.

Throughout the United States and in Canada this weekend, #StopAsianHate marches were scheduled as a response to such sentiments in places like Princeton, New Jersey; Buffalo, New York; Portland, Maine; and Calgary, Alberta.

The activism extends beyond the streets. Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth threatened Tuesday to vote against white nominees to President Joe Biden’s administration until more Asian Americans were appointed to high-ranking roles, then withdrew that threat after she received assurances the White House would do better. While Vice President Kamala Harris is of Indian descent, there are no Cabinet secretaries of Asian American or Pacific Islander descent in Biden's administration despite the president's pledge to reflect the nation's diversity.

This weekend, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was set to host a virtual conversation for the public on anti-Asian discrimination and violence with Meng and U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California. The event will be broadcast on Zoom and on Johnson's Facebook page.

“One of the interesting things I’ve been hearing is that this is the first time that Asian Americans have being asked to share their stories in their workplaces,” said Aarti Kohli, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, a national legal advocacy group. “And people are often surprised to hear the racism that their colleagues have faced. So I'm seeing a much broader recognition of the racism that has been aimed at our community.”

Frank Wu, president of Queens College, City University of New York, compares the moment to the mood following the 1982 killing in Detroit of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American mistaken for Japanese by two struggling auto workers who beat him to death with a baseball bat. The two were eventually fined $3,000 and sentenced to probation.

The resulting outrage and subsequent sense of solidarity, Wu said, crossed lines of ethnicity, generation, language and class and prompted renewed Asian American civil-rights activism. But like all movements, it eventually lost momentum.

So while many Black, Latino and Jewish leaders and colleagues have reached out to him in unprecedented partnership since the Atlanta killings, it’s crucial, Wu said, to capitalize on that unity while it lasts.

“Out of this tragedy,” he said, “there is something I always hoped for but hadn’t seen until now: Real bridge-building intentions. We just need to follow through.”

Stopping Asian hate with data and education

Making the most of the current energy was the thinking behind a “National Day of Action and Healing,” a virtual conversation conducted by Chu Friday with fellow legislators, activists and victims of anti-Asian attacks.

“We wanted to give people a tool to share with their co-workers, their bosses, their neighbors,” Meng said. “We’re hopeful it can be a spark for creating long-term partnerships. That’s the immediate next step – to have this continue.”

Among the long-term solutions Meng said she’d like to see is for Americans to better understand each others’ histories and contributions – with public education being one way to do that.

“Think about what we learned in school about the contributions of Asian Americans to American history,” she said. “Just a paragraph. I think we can make the most of this moment to expand the curriculum we’re teaching our kids.”

Stop AAPI Hate has likewise advocated for ethnic studies curricula as a means to curtail bullying, as well as community-based violence protection programs to protect the elderly and the expansion of civil rights protections to end harassment in business.

“I look forward to seeing this movement continue to grow,” said Russell Jeung, the group’s co-founder and professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.

Chu is also among those pushing two hate-related bills for Congressional approval, the No Hate Act and the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, both meant to improve tracking of hate crimes.

“These are things that should have been improved a long time ago,” Chu said, noting that the FBI relies on individual states to submit their hate-crime data, “which means that many don’t report anything. Eighteen states don’t have a mandate, and three states don’t even have a hate crime statute. We need to have change there on a national basis.”

Asians need more support services, activists say

In Atlanta, where the slayings took place, the disconnect between the Asian American community and police became strikingly clear in the aftermath, said executive director Stephanie Cho of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta. Law enforcement said the shootings were not race-driven. 

“People keep wondering, ‘How come people don’t trust the police?’ or ‘Why aren’t these incidents being reported?’ And it’s because we aren’t taken seriously,” said Cho, who has been busy juggling funerals and meeting with victims’ families. She also met with President Joe Biden, who she said pledged commitment to the community beyond the crisis during his visit to Atlanta last week.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta called on state and local leaders last week to boost crisis-intervention resources and multilingual support across mental health, legal and employment services, in addition to dealing with the root causes of race-based violence and hate.

Cho hopes the momentum can ultimately be used to persuade state leaders to mandate multilingual election ballots statewide; even as of November’s election, which saw Asian voter participation nearly double over 2016, the group was able to lobby just one county to print ballots in Korean, she said.

Raising levels of political involvement and representation is among the goals for national Asian American leaders, too.

“In light of all the things that have happened, the level of frustration is almost at a boiling point with regard to representation,” said Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, which offers training for those thinking about running for municipal or state office. “Without representation in public office, we aren’t at the table.”

The lack of representation in Biden’s administration has been even more galling, Mielke said, given Georgia’s Asian American turnout in November, an increase that eclipsed Biden’s margin of victory.

Kohli, of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, said that while having Asian Americans in political leadership roles is important, those leaders will ultimately be judged on their actions.

“The actual work that our leaders do is what will ultimately create trust in our community,” said Kohli, who counts among her priorities going forward ensuring that the needs of low-income Asian Americans are met. “Many Asian Americans are energized, and we need to leverage that energy into social change.”

Such transformation is already underway, said Russell Leong, former editor of Amerasia Journal.

Younger generations of Asian Americans not affected or unaware of the Chin case are taking to the streets – and in Oakland, San Francisco and New York, they’re helping to provide alternatives to heavier law enforcement by accompanying elderly community pedestrians as a safety measure.

Until recent events, Leong said, “a lot of young people saw organizing as posting something on Instagram or Facebook. That was the extent of political organizing. But with the attacks on women and the elderly – that’s a tangible event, and you have to walk the walk. That’s made a difference.”

Urging churches to stand up against white supremacy 

Meanwhile, calls are growing for religious leaders to take a stand against the violence. This week, the Asian American Christian Collaborative issued a strongly worded statement condemning what it described as an “evasion of responsibility” on the part of U.S. churches and denominations that it accused of perpetuating social conditions that have led to “unequal, unjust and ungodly treatment and murders of racial minorities.”

The group’s statement, signed by hundreds of faith leaders, calls on church leaders to, among other things, increase representation of Asian Americans in church leadership and to commit to educational efforts to eliminate nationalism, misogyny and xenophobia in their congregations. 

On Sunday, the coalition is organizing simultaneous prayer rallies nationwide in a show of solidarity against hate, including in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New York, Baltimore and Atlanta.

“We felt like we needed to do something,” said Michelle Ami Reyes, the group’s vice president. “The response of the church as a whole to anti-Asian racism has been anemic.”

While Black church leaders are climbing on board, she said that larger evangelical denominations, including  the Southern Baptist Convention, or fundamentalists like Los Angeles pastor John MacArthur,  have been reluctant to embrace the fight against injustice or to suggest that the issue extends beyond their Asian American congregants.

"They say that if you as a Christian care about confronting systemic injustice and oppression that you’re just buying into neo-Marxist ideology, and you’re a danger to the church," Reyes said.

But it's not just largely white churches that have shied away from taking a stand, said coalition president Raymond Chang. Many Asian churches, he said, have also refrained from activism, a gesture he called at odds with their origins, which saw them as centers of community and advocacy for emerging immigrant populations.

“Our focus is to get Asian American Christians engaged in activism and to see that it is not contrary to the gospel or Christian faith by any means," Chang said. "That’s something we’ve lost and need to recover – to be engaged with the realities of our society.”

Next month, he said, the coalition will hold a summit in Chicago with local Asian American and Black church leaders to discuss the common issues they face and how to combine forces.

“The Christian message is one that brings people who are divided together,” Chang said. “That’s the whole message of reconciliation. But in the U.S., because our churches were established on top of a segregated society shaped by white supremacy, they've never found ways to meaningfully interact with each other.”

In calling for systemic change and organizing around public hate crimes and deaths, Asian American leaders said they’re taking cues from the Movement for Black Lives coalition, as well as from Muslim and Asian activists who dealt with Islamophobia after 9/11 and previous generations of community leaders who sought justice for Chin after his killing.

Understanding how other communities have achieved political power is always important, said Mielke, of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

“We don’t do this alone," she said. "When we talk about what is needed, it’s community-based, and whatever work we’re doing to prevent this from happening to the Asian American community, we’re also doing to prevent it from happening to any community.”

Georgia state senator Michelle Au, who introduced bills prompted by the Atlanta killings to mandate gun safety and language-specific social services, said there's an urgent need for action.

"This is the best time to take this energy and attention and turn it into something good," she said.