As we embark upon our celebration of Asian Pacific & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Minority Business Development Agency will chronicle the contributions Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders have made to a very broad cross-section of businesses and industries and share the success stories of several remarkable individuals along the way.
Unfortunately, I am compelled to note that the onset of our celebration is tarnished by the realization that members of the AAPI community are currently burdened by a dramatic increase in the number of hate crimes. In the past year, hate crimes against members of the AAPI community have spiked by over 50 percent, and the AAPI partners and clients of MBDA are now far more concerned about their personal safety and that of their families than they are about how to keep a business open or re-open during a pandemic.
MBDA condemns any act of violence, discrimination or harassment directed at the AAPI community. We stand both shoulder-to-shoulder and arm-in-arm with our Brothers and Sisters; and offer heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this senseless and irresponsible conduct. MBDA will continue to work tirelessly in support of opening more doors and breaking down barriers to success for AAPI and other minority business entrepreneurs, in the best of times, as well as during the most challenging of situations and circumstances.
MBDA seeks to ensure that during this pandemic recovery period, our programs and services remain at the forefront of supporting business growth and stabilization in minority business communities. We are committed to meeting the unique needs of our AAPI clients and the AAPI community during this time. Without exception, we are committed to our mission of promoting diversity and inclusion in support of driving and expanding the U.S. economy.
We have all existed on mountain tops and in valleys. Yet if we stand tall and stand together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
Edith J. McCloud,
Acting National Director Minority Business Development Agency