Report COVID-19 Racism

Across the United States, there has been a spike in incidences of racial harassment and violence (hate-crimes) related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to report and track cases of racial harassment and violence, the national StopAAPIhate initiative developed an incident report. The City of Austin is pleased support this national effort. Tracking local and national incidents of racial harassment can help inform response and prevent future incidents from happening.

Austin Public Health Statement Against Asian American and Pacific Islander Racism

Austin’s vision, in part, is to be a beacon of social equity. At Austin Public Health, we believe we play a critical role in helping our community achieve that vision. Austin Public Health continues to stand against racism and social injustice. We stand by our department’s vision that everyone will have optimal quality of life and well-being. We acknowledge that the road to that vision will be different for each community. And, as a City department, we stand committed to working with our community residents and partners to develop programs and strategies relevant to those needs.

The American Public Health Association noted that “Racism attacks peoples’ physical and mental health, and racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now.” This statement continues to ring true as an increase in hate crimes reported against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community have been brought to the forefront of news in recent weeks.

According to a March 16 report from Stop AAPI Hate, 3,795 incidents were received by the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021. The report noted that these incidents “represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination.” The American Medical Association has also highlighted that “xenophobic language around the [COVID-19] virus threatened to further fuel discrimination and hate crimes against Asian Americans, which were already a significant concern due to longstanding interpersonal and structural racism.”

To that end, we must also acknowledge that the social determinants of health – where we live, work, learn, and play – have a significant effect on a wide range of health and quality of life outcomes; we also have to acknowledge how the racism inherent in these systems drives the inequitable outcomes for communities of color. While there has been tremendous work on the part of this community to work toward equity, we can do more, and Austin Public Health stands ready to continue to listen, partner, and act in concert with the community until our vision that everyone will have optimal quality of life and well-being is achieved.

To report incidents of racism and hate against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, visit