NLADA Statement on the Increase of Hate Crimes Against the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

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Release Date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2021

NLADA Statement on the Increase of Hate Crimes Against  the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

NLADA joins with our community of public defenders, civil legal aid providers and client advocates in strongly denouncing the increase of violence and hate crimes against persons of Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) ancestry. There is no place in America for racial discrimination or hate crimes, and we will work in partnership with directly impacted communities to eradicate these evils.

These violent incidents and the initial tepid response to them illustrate the proliferation of hate being driven by implicit and explicit bias and the spread of false information and narratives intended to legitimize racism. We all must raise our voice against this hate.

It is clear we must address the underlying societal views, structures and indoctrination that are allowing for disparate, violent treatment of individuals of color. The NLADA community is committed to addressing the inherent racism that continues to plague our society through collaborating with our partners and strengthening our alliances with communities who struggle against racism every day.  The NLADA community has an established track record of coming together to build partnerships to find effective and permanent solutions to combat racism.  We must stand in unity, be accountable to one another and do our part to push for change.

To that end, NLADA supports the latest series of actions taken by the Biden administration, including reestablishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, creating a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) cross-agency initiative to address anti-Asian violence and re-convening the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division Hate Crimes Enforcement and Prevention Initiative to focus on the rise of hate crimes against the AAPI community.

We urge our community to renew the commitment to stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and other communities of color and against the racial inequality that still plagues our nation. Join NLADA to:

  • Become an Organization that centers racial equity in your work: It is important that advocates for justice commit to addressing systemic racism and join others who are doing the same. NLADA understands that racial equity must be at the center of our work in improving access to justice.
  • Develop a Racial Justice Action Plan: Our plan commits NLADA and our members to (1) speak with clarity about poverty and racial equity; (2) improve our internal governance to reflect the racial equity we seek to secure in our communities; and (3) support a purpose-driven practice that employs strategic advocacy to advance racial justice in our communities.
  • Sign NLADA’s Fight Against Implicit Bias and Racial Inequality (FAIR) Pledge: Developed by our Client Policy Group, the FAIR Pledge calls upon every equal justice advocate and organization to confront implicit bias, improve capacity to effectively serve clients and positively advance racial justice.
  • Join the NLADA Race Equity Advocacy Listserv: If you need tools and information about how to advance racial equity in your work, please join the NLADA’s racial justice community to learn about resources and be a part of the community tackling these issues.

We join with everyone across the country standing up and standing in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community to fight hate and violence.  


The National Legal Aid & Defender Association, founded in 1911, is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local levels through the creation of our public defender systems and other important institutions from The Sentencing Project to the Legal Services Corporation. A leader in the development of national standards for civil legal aid and public defense, NLADA also provides advocacy, training and technical assistance for equal justice advocates across the country.