Race has shaped our lives throughout history and continues to do so to this day. As many in America and in Chicago seek new awareness about race, it is important now more than ever to be educated on and to shed light on modern racism, particularly amid a spike in anti-Asian discrimination and hate crimes.
In the videos below, members of the Asian American Pacific Islander communities in the Chicago area recount personal incidents of racism and microaggressions they've experienced. Several discussed both how these events have impacted them and how we can move forward.
Watch, learn and empower others.
For complete coverage of NBC 5's ongoing Race in Chicago series, click here.
Andy Zhang is a pharmacist who has been on the frontlines of the vaccination effort during the coronavirus pandemic, which has given rise to an increase in anti-Asian sentiment with scapegoating and even an alarming number of attacks.
Zhang, who also performs as a drag queen under the stage name of Eva Young, says he's experienced that discrimination and racism against Asians in the health care profession firsthand.
"I overheard a couple of my colleagues talking about how they don't want to treat Chinese people and how they were going to get COVID because of Chinese people," Zhang said. "This was at the start of pandemic, but to hear someone so highly educated, say something so ignorant was just completely shocking to me.
"There is absolutely no room for racism and bigotry in the healthcare profession," he added.