(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 5/11/2020)  – The Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK), the YWCA Oklahoma City (YWCA OKC), and several community partners today announced the formation of the Asian-American Women’s Task Force, a project aimed at closing the gap between domestic and sexual violence service providers and the Asian communities of Oklahoma, which will be kicking off during a month of programming celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM)  in May 2020.

SEE: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

“Although domestic and sexual violence does not discriminate, one’s ability to access resources can create barriers to seeking justice,” said Task Force leader Cindy Nguyen, Director of Social and Economic Justice, YWCA OKC. “Asian and Pacific Islander women have long been the backbone of our communities, and it is our hope that this taskforce will provide safety, healing, and empowerment to all Oklahomans existing on the margins.”

The Task Force, comprised of representatives from local organizations and community groups, is aimed at reducing the barriers Asian-Americans face in obtaining services related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and community empowerment. Disparities in service providers, cultural taboos, language barriers, and a lack of representation all contribute to Asian-Americans, particularly women, being unable to obtain protection from abusers or assistance in the wake of sexual assault or violence. Of particular concern is the rise in anti-Asian bias incidents, including harassment, discrimination, and violence, in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

SEE: Anti-Asian racism is on the rise,

TO REPORT AN INCIDENT see CAIR Oklahoma Report An Incident Form

Among the task force members are:
• Cindy Nguyen, Director of Social and Economic Justice at the YWCA of OKC
• Veronica Laizure, Civil Rights Director at CAIR Oklahoma
• Jennifer  Ly, Asian District business owner and Member of the Asian District Cultural Association
• Kim Tran, Attorney at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

During APAHM, the Task Force plans to host a number of online webinar s addressing topics such as mental health, issues with law enforcement, and data collection about the community. They will also highlight the contributions of Asian-Americans throughout the state and the nation’s history. In conjunction with the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK), the Task Force will lead a virtual Bystander Intervention Training aimed at empowering Oklahomans to intervene if they witness anti-Asian harassment in public spaces.

EVENT: Bystander Intervention in the time of COVID-19, Wednesday, May 13, 1:00PM, Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/events/953673951734813
EVENT: Community Conversation: Mental Health in the Asian-American Community, Saturday, May 16, 4:00PM, Facebook Live

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.