The rise of COVID-19 is sending shockwaves around the world, throwing into sharp relief deep socioeconomic disparities across all sectors — from healthcare to education — as well as divisive racial and ethnic divisions. The war against this invisible enemy has swept the nation. Exacerbated fears and anxieties forced the Asian American community to bear the brunt of xenophobic backlash and socioeconomic pressure months before the first lockdowns mandated businesses to shut down. Operation CORE aims to provide those particularly affected by COVID-19 with financial relief.
Education is central to the Asian American narrative of hope, struggle, and aspiration. We hope to tap into this shared belief in the power of education in order to better serve our community. To that end, Operation CORE is incentivizing donations. We will be offering high-quality, one-on-one mentorship through our academic tutoring and college insights programs geared towards middle and high school students. Through Operation CORE’s academic tutoring program, trained Harvard undergraduate mentors will offer academic support on general subjects. Through Operation CORE’s unique college insights program, mentors will provide three services: Common Application Walkthroughs, College Essay Brainstorming & Editing, and General Strategy Sessions.
There is a suggested number of sessions for each service, but we are willing to meet the needs of individual students. We operate on a “pay-what-you-can” model; the suggested donation amount is $30-100 per hour to hour-and-a-half. 100% of proceeds will go towards Operation CORE’s Community Relief Fund.
Operation Core’s Community Relief Fund will be donating our proceeds to both the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) and Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC). The Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) provides educational and recreational programs to Asian and new immigrant youth and families. We are donating specifically to their organization. The Asian Community Development Corporation aims to preserve the rich history and culture of Asian American communities through creating affordable, sustainable homes in the Chinatown and the Greater Boston area. We are donating specifically to their Asian Community Emergency Relief Fund geared towards helping those in the Asian American community, who often work in the food, hospitality, education, child care, and home care sectors and have been strongly impacted by COVID-19.
As Harvard Undergraduate students, we are in a unique position to mobilize. We can pursue an aspirational vision of a more supportive Asian American community, starting with those left most vulnerable by this pandemic. We would be remiss to neglect to address the issue of diversity in the Asian American community. Of course, not all Asians are Chinese. However, prejudice does not discriminate. The conflation of the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus” has affected anyone around the world who presents as Asian, regardless of their ethnic or cultural upbringing. While not all struggles against discrimination are equal among Asian Americans, ultimately we hope to come together in times of crisis, standing in solidarity of our community.