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Violence Intervention & Prevention Project

Addressing Gun Violence In and Ethnic Intimidation Towards

Philadelphia's Southeast Asian Communities

Gun violence has affected nearly every Philadelphian and has become a priority issue for nearly every politician and community-based organization alike, as the past few years have seen a spike in the number of shootings and fatalities experienced across the City. Some communities, neighborhoods and ethnic/racial groups, particularly the Black and African-descending community, have been more heavily impacted by systems that foster the conditions for violence. In addition, all neighbors living in underserved neighborhoods and within the vicinity of violence feel deeply the impact of fear and trauma that are byproducts of gun violence, community violence, and ethnic intimidation. We know that generations of systemic oppression, othering, and broken trust stemming from the very foundation of our community on the lands of the Lenni Lenape people has gotten us to where we are now.


Within this narrative, the Southeast Asian immigrant and refugee community has largely been overlooked and ignored, made invisible and voiceless, for much of the history of crime and gun violence in Philadelphia. Along with the COVID-19 pandemic came an increase in Anti-Asian hate, causing community members to not only live in fear of gun violence and crime, but also ethnic intimidation and racially motivated attacks. These conditions build upon over 45 years of similar experiences and discrimination, which have compounded the trauma of each generation of Southeast Asian Americans since the first wave of Cambodian refugees who, fleeing a US-funded war and genocide, sought asylum in US cities like Philadelphia. And, this societal legacy of mistreatment adds to a long history of stereotyping, exclusion, and violence directed against the East Asian immigrant community dating back to the 1800s.


CAGP is committed to being a part of the solution knowing we are one piece of the larger puzzle needed to restore safety to our communities. With our Violence Intervention & Prevention Project, we are dedicated to supporting, amplifying, and empowering our community–Southeast Asian-descended individuals and families–through multi-generational programming, accessible resources, and opportunities to join their voices, stories, and experiences in the work of violence prevention, intervention, and healing. Simultaneously, we want to be a part of the solution within the context of our wider community. We seek to partner with other organizations and ethnic groups who are experiencing the same conditions of fear and danger to envision together how we can make strides towards neighborhoods of resiliency, flourishing, and safety for all, no matter the ethnic background or skin color.

In 2022, 55% of hate incidents reported to the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations were related to race, ethnicity, or national origin. Of that, 15% were strictly incidents of AAPI Hate.

Hate Crime %

2022 Overview of Hate Crimes & Bias Incidents Reported to PCHR

Most reported incidents involved hateful speech, though 43% involved offenses against an individual or their property.

2022 Overview of Hate Crimes & Bias Incidents Reported to PCHR

Our Objectives

  • Provide multigenerational programming for South & North Philadelphia’s Southeast Asian communities, including violence intervention and prevention workshops, intimate community circle conversations, and public events discussing gun violence and racism for families, children, and elders

  • Connect community members to additional resources, services, and supports that help them respond to the fear and trauma created by crime, gun violence, and ethnic intimidation

  • Amplify the visibility and voice of Southeast Asian Americans in initiatives and partnerships that address gun and community violence

  • Cultivate and develop best practices for community engagement which promote AAPI, specifically Southeast Asian, representation as stakeholders

  • Incorporate VIP into the various branches of CAGP’s programs and services to the community for project sustainability

Our vision is to inform and empower community members intergenerationally, particularly the Southeast Asian community, to be connected to resources, services, and programming that grow joy and dispel fear, especially around the issues of gun violence and ethnic intimidation, ultimately promoting neighborhood safety and thriving with all voices equitably at the table.

VIP Project Funders

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