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WTIA Condemns Racism Towards AAPI Community

WTIA condemns racist hatred in all forms. Most of the employees in our member companies have actively supported Black Lives Matter since its inception. Many tech companies have doubled down on improving racial diversity since the murder of George Floyd. WTIA launched an Anti-Racism in Tech Pact with nearly 70 companies collaborating to dismantle racism in our organizations. Today, WTIA empathizes and mourns with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community that have endured violent physical and verbal attacks. The recent Atlanta murders of six women on March 16 and the brutal assault of a 65-year-old woman in Manhattan on March 29 are just two examples of the thousands of anti-Asian violent incidents that happen every year.

The intersection of racism and sexism was fully apparent in these two events. Over the past year, there has been a rise in specific, hateful violence against people of East Asian descent in a number of American cities, including Seattle. Early in the pandemic, Asian business owners in Seattle’s Chinatown International District suffered vandalism, partly due to inflammatory rhetoric that blamed China for the virus. As this most difficult year wore on, Asian Americans across the country increasingly became the targets of hateful and violent attacks. Stop AAPI Hate reports that almost 4,000 incidents of harassment were reported in 2020; 68% percent of those attacks leveled against women, particularly the elderly. Just a week ago, Seattle made national headlines as a Washington man was charged with malicious harassment targeting women and children of Asian heritage. 

Asian American colleagues and community members will be first to say that anti-Asian racism and xenophobia is not new. Despite Washington’s reputation as a welcoming West Coast destination, our state has an atrocious track record promulgating anti-Asian bias, for example against Chinese laborers in Puget Sound the late 1800s, Japanese American residents of Washington state who were imprisoned during World War II, and Filipino agricultural workers who were the targets of white mob violence in Yakima Valley. 

Racism impacts us all. The first step toward healing is acknowledging pain and trauma. We are moved to action by the prospect of ending racism, and to engage in productive dialogue that moves hearts and minds toward empathy and understanding. More importantly, we are energized by the prospect of inspiring change in policies and practices within the tech industry, through our collective efforts in championing racially just and equitable businesses that work for all, including those who are underrepresented and marginalized in the technology sector. 

We hope that you will join us in considering the following actionable steps toward supporting our AAPI community.

  1. If you can offer financial support, consider giving to Washington-based organizations that are championing social justice and racial equity among AAPIs. The Washington Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs has compiled a list of AAPI community organizations, which include the following:


  1. Attend free online anti-harassment bystander intervention training, coordinated by Hollaback! and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. The one-hour interactive training offers the “5 Ds” of bystander intervention methodology. Learn about the types of disrespect that Asian and Asian American folks are facing right now — from microaggressions to violence.
  2. Deepen your understanding of the past and present of the diverse AAPI community, which is made up of people from various ethnic backgrounds, national origins, languages, religions and cultures. The Wing Luke History Museum, a Smithsonian Institution, is an invaluable resource for learning about various streams of the Asian American immigration experience.
  3. Keep up-to-date on developments of the WTIA Anti-Racism in Tech Pact. While the focus of the pact is to address workforce disparities impacting Black and Latinx tech talent, we will investigate how anti-Asian tropes like the “model minority myth” or the “perpetual foreigner” may be contributing to the “bamboo ceiling,” workplace discrimination that hinders career advancement among AAPIs. We will publish details highlighting career and leadership experiences of Asian Americans in tech.

As always, we are open to your ideas about how we may co-create an American future that upholds the value and dignity of people from all backgrounds and cultures. Email us at to share your thoughts. If you are ready to collaborate with other tech companies taking action to dismantle racism, join our Anti-racism in Tech Pact.

Michael Schutzler
Dave Cotter 
Board Chair



  • Michael Schutzler

    Michael Schutzler is an entrepreneur, engineer, science geek, and first generation immigrant. He is the CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA). Before joining the WTIA, Michael led the merger of Livemocha – a community of 17 million language learners – with the popular education software company Rosetta Stone. He also built into the first profitable social media application, transformed online marketing at, and grew the online gaming business at RealNetworks to become a global leader. He teaches part time at the University Of Washington Foster School of Business, serves on several boards, and is an investor in Flowplay, YouSolar, Koru, Moment, 9 Mile Labs, Alliance of Angels, Keiretsu Forum, and Social Venture Partners. As a successful Internet entrepreneur, lead angel investor, and veteran executive coach, Michael has personally invested in twenty-four companies, served as coach and advisor to more than 100 executives, and has raised over $50M in private financing.

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