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NBC News hosts town hall on rise of anti-Asian sentiment amid coronavirus pandemic

Rep. Judy Chu, actress Lana Condor and others will be part of the virtual event at 4:30 p.m. ET today.

A group of prominent Asian American officials, leaders and celebrities will take part in a discussion about ongoing anti-Asian sentiment and hate attacks occurring nationwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual town hall, "United Against Hate," hosted by NBC Asian America, will take place at 4:30 p.m. ET today. It will be streamed on NBC Asian America, NBC News’ Twitter and Facebook pages and on YouTube. The event will also be available for viewing on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service. Moderated by NBC News investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen, the town hall will center around constructive actions that can be taken at legislative, nonprofit and individual levels to combat the coronavirus-related racism.

The discussion will include Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., who serves as chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., who took one of the first legislative steps in publicly addressing the attacks directed at the Asian American community.

In addition to the lawmakers, the town hall will also feature the executive director of the civil rights nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, John C. Yang, and the director of the Los Angeles-based coalition Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON), Manjusha Kulkarni. The event will also include special video messages from celebrities including comedian Margaret Cho, filmmaker Eugene Lee Yang, actress Lana Condor and singer Lea Salonga.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have reported grappling with virus-related hate attacks nationwide. The online forum Stop AAPI Hate, spearheaded by A3PCON, received more than 1,500 reports of coronavirus discrimination from Asian Americans across the country in the first month since it launched in March. The New York City Commission on Human Rights recently announced that since February, there have been 248 reports of harassment and discrimination related to COVID-19 in the city alone. More than 40 percent of the incidents are anti-Asian.

Watch the town hall here.

Victims can report bias incidents via online reporting tool Stop AAPI Hate, AAPI Emergency Response Network -- a nonprofit resource spearheaded by National Council of Asian Pacific Americans -- or Asian Americans Advancing Justice's hate crime tracker.

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