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United Against Hate: A Statement of Solidarity

The surge in hate crimes, violence, and verbal assaults against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders in recent months is a painful reminder that racism, bigotry, and xenophobia are persistent challenges in the United States. Many of these attacks have been brazen, occurring in public spaces and online. They have been egged on at times by an administration drawing on racist tropes and stereotypes, eager to distract from its own missteps.

Reports of any individuals being spit on, stabbed, beat up, or verbally assaulted are disturbing enough when they are isolated incidents. However, when such attacks are collectively driven by hate, and when they occur in such large volume, the onus lies heavily on civil society and on our elected representatives to condemn them. Shamefully, such voices have been too few in recent months. Attacks continue to be reported in large numbers, and one recent poll found that 32 percent of Americans have witnessed someone blaming Asian people for the coronavirus pandemic. The alarming rise in xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-Black violence during this pandemic demands a robust civic response.

The time to turn back this wave of hate is now. We, the undersigned, call on everyday citizens to join us in standing in solidarity with all those targeted by hate during COVID-19. Together, we can use the power of our collective voices to call for a more just, equal, and inclusive society. As members of the global literary community, we know well that diversity is a pillar of any liberal democracy, providing rich and varied stories to celebrate. On behalf of PEN America and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, we invite you to join us on May 27 for a day of action to condemn this scourge; celebrate Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander writers; and to raise your voice to call out hate in all its heinous forms.

Join us Wednesday, May 27 for United Against Hate: A Day of Solidarity, a daylong series of virtual panels, readings, and workshops.

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Riz Ahmed
Ayad Akhtar
Alexander Chee
Min Jin Lee
Celeste Ng
Viet Thanh Nguyen
C. Pam Zhang

George Abraham
Kazim Ali
Wajahat Ali
Jin Auh
Ishmael Beah
Richard Blanco
Jennifer Finney Boylan
Regie Cabico
Jennine Capo Crucet
Jade Chang
John Chao
Ron Chernow
Marilyn Chin
Staceyann Chin
Susan Choi
Sandra Cisneros
Bridget Colman
Natalie Diaz
Markus Dohle
Roxanne Donovan
Ariel Dorfman
Jennifer Egan
Dave Eggers
Lauren Embrey
Tarfia Faizullah
Jules Feiffer
Jeanmarie Fenrich
Pat Fili-Krushel
Roxane Gay
Masha Gessen
Amitav Ghosh
Lev Grossman
Jessica Hagedorn
Mohsin Hamid
James Hannaham

Tom Healy
Elizabeth Hemmerdinger
Tracy Higgins
Khaled Hosseini
Mary Karr
Sean Kelly
E.J. Koh
Amitava Kumar
Chang-Rae Lee
Li-Young Lee
Franklin Leonard
Jonathan Lethem
Tan Lin
Margaret Loeb
Emily Luan
Allison Markin Powell
Yvonne Marsh
Dinaw Mengestu
Rick Moody
Paul Muldoon
Alxandra Munroe
Azar Nafisi
Suzanne Nossel
Susan Orlean
Gregory Pardlo
Ishle Yi Park
Bao Phi
Michael Pietsch
Robert Pinsky
Francine Prose
Theresa Rebeck
Paisley Rekdal
Alix Ritchie
Phoebe Robinson
Howard Rodman
Salman Rushdie
Esmeralda Santiago
Craig Santos Perez
Janice Sapigao
George Saunders
Seth Schachner
Alice Sebold
Elif Shafak

Fatima Shaik
Gary Shteyngart
Simran Jeet Singh
Kiki Smith
Monica Sok
Andrew Solomon
Alec Soth
Elizabeth Strout
Cynthia Sweeney
Adeeba Talukder
Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai
Anne Tyler
David Ulin
Ayelet Waldman
Jacob Weisberg
Jamie Wolf
Tobias Wolff
Sholeh Wolpé
KK Wootton
Jenny Xie
Hanya Yanagihara
Yanyi
Monica Youn
Charles Yu
Tom Zoellner