Burnaby university student rallies blood donors in response to anti-Asian hate

·2 min read
Steven Gan, a 22-year-old Simon Fraser University student, hopes that recruiting people to donate blood will help reduce instances of discrimination against Asian Canadians. (Christina Sahertion - image credit)
Steven Gan, a 22-year-old Simon Fraser University student, hopes that recruiting people to donate blood will help reduce instances of discrimination against Asian Canadians. (Christina Sahertion - image credit)

A Burnaby university student is rallying people to donate blood as a response to a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination.

Steven Gan says he's been devastated by reports during the COVID-19 pandemic of Asian Canadians being discriminated against, attacked or worse.

The 22-year-old Simon Fraser University business student who comes from a Chinese heritage said his friends have had pop cans opened on their heads and been called names.

"It's horrible to see that, that's why we're here, and more reason to come together at this time and be united," he said.

This week police launched investigations into two separate attacks against Asian people in the Lower Mainland, while last weekend hundreds protested anti-Asian hate and discrimination outside Vancouver's Art Gallery.

Meantime, clinical councillors say they've seen an increase in clients seeking help in coping with both both verbal and physical attacks.

To do something to help, Gan, along with some of his fellow students and members of his church, are working on a blood donation drive.

So far, about two dozen people have committed to donating blood regularly. A group of a dozen made donations on Saturday in Vancouver.

People donate blood in Vancouver on Saturday as part of a drive to recruit donors who want to end anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination in Canada.
People donate blood in Vancouver on Saturday as part of a drive to recruit donors who want to end anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination in Canada.(Christina Sahertion)

"We want to give everything we can, even our blood, even something that comes from ourselves," said Gan. "And this could act as a stand against the discrimination that's been happening."

Canadian Blood Services said in a statement it welcomes community efforts to encourage more Canadians to become donors.

It said over 100,000 new blood donors are needed in Canada this year to keep up with demand.

It also condemns any form of anti-Asian hate, violence and bigotry and is committed to doing its part to end racism in Canada.