In our latest presentation of Justice for All: #StopAsianHate Movement, Spectrum Bay News 9 Anchor Erica Riggins hosts a conversation with panelists from all over the Tampa Bay area on what we can do as a community to stop discrimination against the Asian American Community.  

The Pew Research center reports​ nearly 46% of Asian Americans have experienced a painful incident tied to their racial or ethnic background since the pandemic started.

From March 19th, 2020 to February 28th, 2021, the organization “Stop AAPI Hate” documented 3,795 incidents of hate towards members of the AAPI community. More than 68.1% were verbal harassment and 11.1% were physical assaults.

The Biden administration passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in hopes of deterring and preventing these crimes, but advocates say more still needs to be done. This is one of the reasons Spectrum Bay News 9 Producer Becky Mar began working on the Justice for All: #STOPASIANHATE Movement roundtable.

“That’s why I pushed this conversation,” said Mar. “When attacks kept happening to people who look like me, I didn’t know how to feel. I felt lost, isolated and a little helpless. But I wanted to do something to change this. I realized that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. And when I did reach out to other members of our Asian American community in the Bay Area, I found comfort talking to them, sharing our experiences and finding a way to move forward.”

Mar explained why reaching out to AAPI members of the community was a big aspect in the making of this roundtable.

“Going into a segment like this, there was a lot of research and one-on-one talks with our panelists,” Mar said. “I have actually become very close with each panelist and our host Erica Riggins. There were several phone calls, several heart-to-hearts just talking about our individual experiences and the best way we can convey this message.”

A message Mar hopes will reach and give clarity to some who may believe this conversation isn’t necessary.

“There’s some people who don’t understand why we are having this conversation and they don’t think we should be,” said Mar. “It’s not our goal to change their minds, but it’s our goal to help them understand what our community is going through.”

You can watch a re-airing of Justice for All: #TheStopAsianHate Movement on Saturday, May 8th at 7 p.m. on Spectrum Bay News 9.


Spectrum Bay News 9’s Erica Riggins sits down with members of Tampa Bay’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community to talk about the rise in hate crime attacks against Asian Americans. A look at the situation, how new legislation aims at curbing the violence, how to recognize dangerous stereotypes, and being an advocate to those facing discrimination.