SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- With the rise in Asian hate crimes across the nation, a group of San Diego mothers is banding together on Facebook.
It started with a simple inquiry. Anyone with a bilingual child?
"I want him to learn different languages, so I wanted to ask other moms how we can do that," Viva Nguyen said.
Nguyen is a mother of two small boys. She started the group "Asian Moms San Diego" in 2017 to look for Mandarin speakers to have casual conversation meet-ups with her older son. It soon developed into a forum for Asian moms to share all sorts of information: the best books, the best food, the best schools. That is until the pandemic hit.
"Somehow, we are being blamed for this worldwide pandemic because we are Asian," Nguyen said.
With the sudden increase in Asian hate crimes around the country, the Facebook group became a place where members started sharing their fears and experiences. That is when long-time member Raquel Cusi stepped in.
The mother of five and owner of The Stronghold Ju-Jitsu began offering self-defense tips. The response was overwhelming.
"I'm getting more requests for the elderly," Cusi said. "Like, 'What can my mom do for this type of scenario?'"
Now she offers classes and meet-ups across the county.
The group has since evolved into a safe forum where Asian mothers bond over anything and everything. It is also a place where they celebrate one another, not just for Mother's Day, but every day.
"I think it's beautiful to be able to share and love and respect each other and all of our differences and similarities as a community," Cusi said.
"I am a proud Asian mom because of my heritage. I have a rich culture," Nguyen said. "Stop the hate. Spread the love, and we can all do this together as Americans."