By Cindy Hsu

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A local fashion designer has found a creative way to fight back against anti-Asian hate incidents after her employees were targeted.

Aruk Jvaani is head designer for the fashion company Gravitas. He says while walking with friends on the Upper West Side, someone came up to him and yelled, “Coronavirus spreader, go back to China.”

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“What went through your mind when that happened?” CBS2’s Cindy Hsu asked.

“Shocked. Yeah, really shocked,” Jvaani said.

Lisa Sun is the founder of Gravitas, and her team is like family.

When Jvaani shared his story and several seamstresses talked about their experiences with recent hate incidents, the company created two face masks — one that says “Look for good, see the good,” the other “Choose compassion.”

“Compassion is actually not just about expressing sympathy, it’s about alleviating someone’s distress,” Sun said.

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One hundred percent of the proceeds go to Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit website where you can report hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that often go unreported.

“I think Asians are typically less likely to show weakness and pain and vulnerability, and we’re often trying show how strong we are, how hard-working we are,” Sun said.

There are many ways to take action.

You can support Asian-owned businesses and charities that are working for Asian communities. Sun says now is the time everyone can do something.

“For the community, if you do have friends, if you have business relationships, reaching out and saying, ‘If there’s anything I can do, I’m here,'” Sun said.

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It’s a powerful way to choose compassion.

Cindy Hsu