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White House announces initiatives to address anti-Asian violence

The move comes after a shooting in Atlanta this month left six women of Asian descent dead.
President Biden at the White House on Tuesday March 30,2021.
President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday.Jonathan Earnst / Reuters

WASHINGTON — The White House announced initiatives Tuesday to address anti-Asian violence amid new attention to the rise of attacks against Asian Americans after six women of Asian descent were killed in a shooting this month in the Atlanta area.

President Joe Biden will reinstate and expand the scope of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the White House said. The Department of Health and Human Services will also provide $49.5 million to programs helping AAPI survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and the National Science Foundation will spend $33 million to study bias and xenophobia.

The Justice Department will also establish a cross-agency initiative to respond to anti-Asian violence that will include an online tool to better study and share data about national hate crimes statistics, as well as new training for state and local law enforcement agencies to promote accurate reporting of hate crimes.

As part of his Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force, Biden will establish a committee to address xenophobia against Asian Americans, the White House said.

Biden has faced pressure from Asian American members of Congress and activist groups to do more to address anti-Asian attacks and to elevate more Asian Americans in his administration, especially as the community has experienced a sharp increase in attacks during a pandemic that originated in Asia.

Biden has spoken out against the increase in violence, saying in his first prime-time speech this month that Asian Americans have been "harassed, blamed and scapegoated" and that the violence was "wrong, it's un-American, and it must stop."