We stand with the Asian and AAPI communities against white supremacy, racism, and hate crimes. We are committed to making sure the world is a safe place to interact, adventure, and explore. Here’s the internal memo we shared with employees on how we’re committing to change.
We are again witnessing targeted systemic racism that is endangering our communities. The executive leadership team and I have touched on this topic before but I want to follow up on our initial commitments to the Asian and Asian American & Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community.
Asian and AAPI hate incidents have dramatically increased in the last year. This has ranged from verbal harassment, spitting, physical assault, and even murder. Just two weeks ago, the shootings in Atlanta claimed the lives of eight people, of which six were Asian women.
Like many of you, I have a desire to find the right way to engage as an individual in being a part of the solution. It's important that we view this within the context of historical Asian and AAPI discrimination in the U.S., including the Page Act of 1875 banning immigration by Chinese women (leading to the Chinese Exclusion Act), as well as the internment of Japanese Americans. More recently we’ve seen the consequences of harmful language surrounding COVID-19.
This is a somber reminder that racism and hate still exist in our world today, and that our most vulnerable communities bear the brunt of discrimination and white supremacy. The targeting of these communities is inexcusable and must end.
We’ve taken time to evaluate how we as an organization can show our solidarity and create a more inclusive, diverse world where people feel safe to exist and adventure without fear. We are committing $1 million to education initiatives and donations to various causes and organizations, focused in three areas: awareness, education and community activism:
Awareness: We will donate to Stop AAPI Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus to help raise awareness of racist, discriminatory, and xenophobic incidents in the public consciousness and aid in their reporting and legislation efforts. We will also identify other organizations involved in this important work.
Education: We will invest in educational programs both internally and externally, to help people learn the history of communities of color in the U.S., how racism became institutionalized, and how we can undo generations of misguided thinking and behavior.
Community activism: No one should feel unsafe and unsupported in their neighborhoods. We will be offering all employees a donation match at a 2X rate if they contribute to select organizations supporting the AAPI community. We will also explore helping AAPI-owned businesses as part of our Niantic Local Business Recovery Initiative and the funding of programs that focus on keeping local AAPI communities safe and vibrant.
We remain committed to our role in building a more just, fair, and better future where everyone can safely enjoy the outdoors in their local communities and in the world at large. We will continue to fight racism, injustice, and white supremacy. We are continuing to learn and grow and are always looking for opportunities to strengthen these commitments.
We’ve always said the heart of Niantic is our community of players and we do not believe in standing idly by. We are here to help Stop Asian Hate.
– John Hanke