Preventing and Responding to AAPI Discrimination and Violence in Cities

On March 16, 2021, a series of mass shootings at spas in the Atlanta area resulted in eight fatalities, six of whom were Asian women. The event brought into sharp focus the growth in anti-Asian American Pacific Islander incidents – violence and hate crimes, among them – during the Covid-19 pandemic. On April 1, the Conference of Mayors conducted a webinar designed to update mayors on the problems and discuss what can be done to prevent them and to respond to them when they occur. (On the previous day, President Biden had announced his administration’s additional actions to respond to anti-Asian violence, xenophobia and bias.)

The webinar is moderated by Fremont Mayor Lily Mei, who describes her personal experience with anti-Asian sentiment. Discussing the issues are John C. Yang, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice; representing the White House: Howard Ou, Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement, and Gabriel Uy, Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; and Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, also of Asian descent and a Past President of the Conference of Mayors. Opening remarks are made by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the current President the Conference. The webinar was recorded and later shown on C-SPAN.

Dismantling Systemic Racism

Part of a Mayors and CEOs Roundtable Series presented in 2020 by the Conference of Mayors and Verizon, this October 7 discussion examines the role of racism in public institutions and recommendations to reform public policies that have led to inequitable outcomes across the country – the goal being more equitable outcomes for people of color, politically, socially, and economically. It is co-hosted by Conference CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg. Participants include Mayors Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento, and Hardie Davis, Jr. of Augusta (GA); Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League; and Mary Schmidt Campbell, President of Spelman College.

Confronting Civil Rights Threats in the Year Ahead

In this session of the 2021 Winter Meeting of the Conference of Mayors, the leaders of two major national civil rights organizations are joined by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to discuss civil rights threats that must be confronted in cities in 2021 in the face of the continuing pandemic and a divisive political atmosphere that has fostered growth in racism and antisemitism, and in the wake of the January 6 Capitol insurrection which underscored the potential for violence in cities posed by far-right white supremacist and antisemitic hate groups.

This January 21 panel is chaired by Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, and founder of the Conference of Mayors Center for Compassionate and Equitable Cities. Along with Mayor Turner, presentations are made by Jonathan Greenblatt, President and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, and by Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League and a former two-term Mayor of New Orleans. Both Benjamin and Morial are Past Presidents of the Conference of Mayors.

A Conversation on Kind and Compassionate Leadership

The 2021 Winter Meeting of the Conference of Mayors concluded with a January 27 online conversation on kind and compassionate leadership involving His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and a group of mayors of U.S. cities and cities in several other countries. Sponsored by the Conference and the Strong Cities Network, the event is moderated by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the President of the Conference, and Sasha Havlicek, the CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and Strong Cities Network. Throughout the conversation the Dahli Lama stresses the importance of mayoral leadership in the quest for compassion, happiness and kindness. He speaks from his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India.

AAPI Incidents


Civil Rights

Dalai Lama

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