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.
Saleha Ayaan Salam is an educator and activist who works as an LGBTQ and Gender Inclusion training facilitator at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, as well as a program coordinator for free HIV and STI testing services.
She also serves on the board of Trikone Chicago, a not-for-profit organization aimed at building a supportive community for queer South Asians to connect and promote awareness and acceptance.
Salam is a trans woman who immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh and says she's experienced many microaggressions that were unique to her experience in that they were also layered with transphobia.
"As an Asian woman, you're already being dehumanized and fetishized in these very specific ways, and then trans women face unique kinds of violence and dehumanizations, and when those factors intersect, some people don't see you as human at all," she said.