slider top

United Against Hate: A Statement of Solidarity

PEN: The Freedom to Write

The surge in hate crimes, violence, and verbal assaults against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders in recent months is a painful reminder that racism, bigotry, and xenophobia are persistent challenges in the United States. Many of these attacks have been brazen, occurring in public spaces and online. They have been egged on at times by an administration drawing on racist tropes and stereotypes, eager to distract from its own missteps.

Reports of any individuals being spit on, stabbed, beat up, or verbally assaulted are disturbing enough when they are isolated incidents. However, when such attacks are collectively driven by hate, and when they occur in such large volume, the onus lies heavily on civil society and on our elected representatives to condemn them. Shamefully, such voices have been too few in recent months. Attacks continue to be reported in large numbers, and one recent poll found that 32 percent of Americans have witnessed someone blaming Asian people for the coronavirus pandemic. The alarming rise in xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-Black violence during this pandemic demands a robust civic response.

The time to turn back this wave of hate is now. We, the undersigned, call on everyday citizens to join us in standing in solidarity with all those targeted by hate during COVID-19. Together, we can use the power of our collective voices to call for a more just, equal, and inclusive society. As members of the global literary community, we know well that diversity is a pillar of any liberal democracy, providing rich and varied stories to celebrate. On behalf of PEN America and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, we invite you to join us on May 27 for a day of action to condemn this scourge; celebrate Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander writers; and to raise your voice to call out hate in all its heinous forms.

Join us Wednesday, May 27 for United Against Hate: A Day of Solidarity, a daylong series of virtual panels, readings, and workshops.

To sign the statement, visit



Riz Ahmed

Ayad Akhtar

Alexander Chee

Min Jin Lee

Celeste Ng

Viet Thanh Nguyen

C. Pam Zhang

George Abraham

Kazim Ali

Wajahat Ali

Jin Auh

Ishmael Beah

Richard Blanco

Jennifer Finney Boylan

Regie Cabico

Jennine Capo Crucet

Jade Chang

John Chao

Ron Chernow

Marilyn Chin

Staceyann Chin

Susan Choi

Sandra Cisneros

Bridget Colman

Natalie Diaz

Markus Dohle

Roxanne Donovan

Ariel Dorfman

Jennifer Egan

Dave Eggers

Lauren Embrey

Tarfia Faizullah

Jules Feiffer

Jeanmarie Fenrich

Pat Fili-Krushel

Roxane Gay

Masha Gessen

Amitav Ghosh

Lev Grossman

Jessica Hagedorn

Mohsin Hamid

James Hannaham

Tom Healy

Elizabeth Hemmerdinger

Tracy Higgins

Khaled Hosseini

Mary Karr

Sean Kelly

E.J. Koh

Amitava Kumar

Chang-Rae Lee

Li-Young Lee

Franklin Leonard

Jonathan Lethem

Tan Lin

Margaret Loeb

Emily Luan

Allison Markin Powell

Yvonne Marsh

Dinaw Mengestu

Rick Moody

Paul Muldoon

Alxandra Munroe

Azar Nafisi

Suzanne Nossel

Susan Orlean

Gregory Pardlo

Ishle Yi Park

Bao Phi

Michael Pietsch

Robert Pinsky

Francine Prose

Theresa Rebeck

Paisley Rekdal

Alix Ritchie

Phoebe Robinson

Howard Rodman

Salman Rushdie

Esmeralda Santiago

Craig Santos Perez

Janice Sapigao

George Saunders

Seth Schachner

Alice Sebold

Elif Shafak

Fatima Shaik

Gary Shteyngart

Kiki Smith

Monica Sok

Andrew Solomon

Alec Soth

Elizabeth Strout

Cynthia Sweeney

Adeeba Talukder

Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

Anne Tyler

David Ulin

Ayelet Waldman

Jacob Weisberg

Jamie Wolf

Tobias Wolff

Sholeh Wolpé

KK Wootton

Jenny Xie

Hanya Yanagihara


Monica Youn

Charles Yu

Tom Zoellner