Soon Mee Kim
Soon Mee Kim

ColorComm, which represents women of color in PR, advertising and media, today condemned anti-Asian racism triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were more than 650 incidents of verbal harassment, physical assault and shunning during the first week of tracking by the Stop APPI Hate research center that launched March 19.

"As professional communicators, we know the power and influence our words have. 'Chinese virus,' 'Chinese coronavirus' and 'Wuhan virus' are terms that fuel xenophobia and racism," according to a statement by ColorComm's Soon Mee Kim, executive VP & global diversity & inclusion leader at Porter Novelli.

ColorComm urges media professionals to stop using such hateful language.

The group "stands in solidarity with our sisters and fellow citizens of Asian descent," according to the statement.

"Our battle against the coronavirus pandemic requires our full attention, as it already disproportionately impacts women and people of color, small businesses and members of the gig economy, and the industries we serve. It is no time for hate," wrote Kim.

ColorComm launched nine years ago to "help strengthen the voices, work and accomplishments of those who are often underrepresented in the overall business and political discourse."

The group's PR firm board members are Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO of WE Communications; Judith Harrison, senior VP at Weber Shandwick; Trisch Smith, global chief diversity & inclusion officer at Edelman; and PN's Kim.