Regina sisters create shirts to combat rise of Asian hate

·2 min read
Alison Singharath and her sisters have decided to take a stand against it by selling shirts and using the proceeds to support local Asian businesses. (Submitted by Alison Singharath - image credit)
Alison Singharath and her sisters have decided to take a stand against it by selling shirts and using the proceeds to support local Asian businesses. (Submitted by Alison Singharath - image credit)

Anti-Asian hate is something that Alison Singharath knows all too well.

From anti-Asian hate over COVID-19 to the shooting in Atlanta that left six people of Asian descent dead, it seems like there has been a surge of anti-Asian hate over the past year. However, 30-year-old Laos descendant Singharath says that anti-Asian hate is something she's always experienced.

"These issues within the Asian community have been around for a long time," she said.

"I would get made fun of because of my eyes. There were many times growing up I didn't want to be different with the shape of my eyes or the colour of my skin. That took away from me wanting to be me and embracing my culture and tradition."

As an adult, she said she no longer experiences name-calling, but the lack of education and stereotypes about the Asian community often leaves her "speechless."

"People will often assume that we are from China or assume that we eat certain foods," she said.

Singharath and her sisters, Melissa Phillips and Rita Hurrell, have decided to reclaim their power by doing something about this new wave of Asian hate.

They are producing and selling t-shirts that carry powerful messages such as "Hate is a virus," "Asian Proud" and "Stop Asian Hate." The profits from the shirt goes to support local Asian businesses and communities in Canada.

"We've just been seeing too much violence and attack and we kind of hit a breaking point," she said. "We couldn't just sit by and not try to help in some way, so within less than a week we thought the best way we could help take a stand was these t-shirts."

The three shirts made by Alison Singharath and her sisters.
The three shirts made by Alison Singharath and her sisters.(Submitted by Alison Singharath)

According to Singharath, the response to the shirt has exceeded her expectations. For her and her sisters, this shows them that "there are people out there that want to support and are helping us raise awareness which makes us grateful that we are taking one step forward and making a change," she said.

Local Asian businesses in Regina like the Great Asian Market, Hoa An Market and Ngoy Hoa Asian Foods will be beneficiaries of profits from the shirts.

Alison and her sisters, Melissa Phillips and Rita Hurriell, have decided to reclaim their power by doing something about this new wave of Asian hate.
Alison and her sisters, Melissa Phillips and Rita Hurriell, have decided to reclaim their power by doing something about this new wave of Asian hate.(Submitted by Alison Singharath)

The sisters will also be donating the foods purchased from the businesses to the community fridges in Regina. Money for the shirts will also be going toward the Chinese Canadian National Council, a non-profit organization.

Production of the shirts stopped last Friday but they may start again soon.