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United States
DateMarch 18, 2021
ParAnnaMaria DeSalva
Reading time2minutes

Countering Hate

To All in H+K,

I join with my peers, friends and colleagues everywhere in condemning the acts of hate against Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. It is unimaginable that we have to say so, yet it is the harsh reality of the world today.

I know across H+K many of us have the urge to protect those targeted by hate, and in this moment especially we hold close all of our friends and colleagues of Asian and Pacific Island origin. We explicitly reject hate in all its forms, and we endeavor to guard against it in our daily lives. I feel compelled to add, however, that condemning hate and protecting against it is not enough. We have to understand it and we have to have the fortitude to prevent it and counter it when it visibly and especially violently breaks through.

Several years ago, at the very end of the Obama administration, I started to become involved with the U.S. State Department as it developed communications methods to counter violent extremism. The people I got to know there subsequently published a book called Countering Hate, which I started to re-read last night. It is giving me frameworks by which to consider how hate is formed, and it is helping me assess what more I can do privately and through my work to better address hate at its root. Perhaps this text might interest you too.

Urgently, if you experience or witness acts of AAPI hate or violence, please visit  This resource also can provide ways to show your support. Please reach out to your manager or local People leader if you have any concerns about your safety or the safety of others. WPP’s global Employee Assistance Program is also a helpful resource. For those who want to get involved and are looking for ways to show your support, click here for a list of additional organizations and causes where you can take action.

We have to join together to face the world as it is and to lift our hands and voices not merely to condemn but to do the real work to uphold humanity. Communication is the force that animates the world. These are the days when we can humbly but also energetically embrace the reality that there is more we can do.