HomeCommunity IssuesBlack & Asian communities rally against anti-Asian hate in Oakland

Black & Asian communities rally against anti-Asian hate in Oakland

By Isabelle Roetcisoender

Hundreds of people rallied at Madison Park in Oakland’s Chinatown Saturday to call for unity and oppose anti-Asian hate.

Several Black organizations joined the Oakland Chinatown Coalition which sponsored the protest dubbed Love our People, Heal Our Communities.

“We’re out here, us Black people, to support and to say we don’t condone that type of behavior,” said Willard “Ali” Birts Jr., of All of Us or None which provides legal services for prisoners with children. “We have no problems being a diverse [community] because that’s what we represent. So, we’re just here to say, anything we can do to provide some help to the community, we’re here to listen to people to see what they have to say and see what we can do.”

Photo by Isabelle Roetcisoender

Julia Liou of Asian Health Services and a member of the Chinatown Coalition expressed hope of bring people together across cultures. She called for an investment in long-term community centered solutions in language and in culture as well as immediate health and safety measures.

“As a community health center we’ve experienced that our own staff, our patients have been attacked and assaulted,” she told AsAmNews.

“This is really a time to acknowledge that pain and healing that needs to happen. I really feel like this moment in time is really going to be a catalyst for us to be able to unite within and across communities, races and cultures.” 

The Oakland Chinatown Coalition was founded in 2008 and is a broad neighborhood-based coalition of service providers, community-based organizations, businesses, professionals, churches, residents and individual activists.  The group looks for long term strategies to increase public safety, jobs, affordable housing, and community support. It also seeks to improve community facilities, publicly open spaces and accessibility to transportation.

Photo by Isabelle Roetcisoender

The Oakland Chinatown Coalition is working towards a Community Business District or a CBD.  A CBD is similar to a business improvement district except rather than only including merchants it includes the whole community. Ener Chiu, EBALDC’s (East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation) Associative Director of Real Estate Development told AsAmNews, “I think this is a really great time to have a community conversation about what safety is and what community safety is.  We’re going to city council later this year to get them to pass the resolution needed to start the CBD.”

One of the programs involved in the CBD is the Community Ambassador Program.  The Community Ambassador Program began in 2017 and takes members of the community to train them to build relationships between merchants, customers, homeless people, visitors and residents of Oakland Chinatown.  The initiative is to help the community get to know one another and to be part of a larger initiative. Asian Health Services is currently the fiscal sponsor for the future Community Ambassador Program. 

Asian Health Services have also started a fundraising portal.

Other groups in attendance included Chinatown Improvement and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

A similar rally is planned for Sunday in San Francisco at Civic Center Plaza across from City Hall at 1 p.m.

AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or making a financial contribution to support us.


  1. Is there a way to change the title…to black and Asian community instead ‘ blacks ‘ are bit cringy as a reference .

    Also I live hearing news like this working together this give me so much hope !!


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