The increase in hate and racist sentiment against Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) members of our community is disgraceful, and we will not stand idly by. We will continue to empower, defend and support our seniors and staff as we stand against racism in our communities.
Hatred and violence seek to destroy the diversity of our community by driving a wedge between cultures, races, ages, and sexual orientations. On Lok strives to build understanding, acceptance, and peace. Even our name, originally founded as 安樂居, pays homage to our beginnings and translates to peaceful, happy home in Cantonese.
Our commitment to the APIA community started in 1971, when we first opened our doors in the Chinatown-North Beach neighborhood. For 50 years, On Lok has protected and advocated for underserved seniors. Our goal then, as it is now, is to provide inclusive and compassionate care. On a foundation of respect, we honor the elders, staff, partners, and communities we are part of.
Anti-Asian sentiment has increased across the country since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, fueled by conspiracy theories and xenophobia. The recent increase in bullying, harassment, and outright violence against our APIA community is a lingering consequence of these toxic beliefs.
Despite this, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans continue to serve on the front lines of COVID-19 as healthcare providers, first responders, and in other essential roles. We are grateful for the APIA staff who continue to provide critical services as the pandemic rages on.
On January 26, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order calling for greater protections for the APIA community and condemning the rise of racism and xenophobia experienced during the pandemic. On Lok applauds his leadership and shares the call for comprehensive action across the country, and here in the Bay Area, to address hate crimes. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our Asian and Pacific Islander American community, upholding our values of diversity, inclusion, and shared humanity.
We will stand beside you and rally against those who seek to destroy. Together we are stronger and together we will overcome.
Grace Li, CEO, On Lok