Published May 28, 2021

By GAIL LOWE

MELROSE—Like all good parents, Bo Tsang DiMatteo of Warwick Road wants to raise her children in a world that rejects hate. She believes that every single person, no matter their skin color, sexual orientation or profession is a human being worthy of love.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, there has been marked uptick in violence and escalation in xenophobia toward the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) population. The reason for the increase appears to be hatred directed at Asian people because some think the virus originated in a Wuhan, China laboratory.

BO TSANG DIMATTEO of Warwick Road is shown wearing a T-shirt she designed to end violence against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) population. Violent incidents have increased since March 2020 when the coronavirus began its rampage across America. (Courtesy Photo)

According to DiMatteo, organizations like Stop AAPI Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice are trying to address anti-Asian racism and advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans. DiMatteo, a graphic designer by profession and Chinese by birth, has been raising funds through sales of her line of T-shirts, magnets and stickers to support the efforts of AAPI organizations. She currently has bumper magnets and stickers in her inventory, and those interested can e-mail [email protected]

“As an Asian American, I want to amplify the message of ending racism and hate while raising money for organizations that spread awareness about Anti-Asian racism, prioritize and push for legislation to advocate for the AAPI community and assist immigrants with job training and social services,” she said. DiMatteo will split the donations with three organizations: Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Asian American Civic Association. So far, the graduate of California College of Arts in San Francisco has raised $1,600.

Said DiMatteo, “I’ve harnessed my heartache over the past year of anti-Asian sentiments and over 3,800 attacks into trying to amplify the message of ending racism. Leveraging my design skills into creating this merchandise that promotes equality causes me to feel like I am making a tiny difference. It has sparked conversations about racism with friends and strangers, and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for those who have expressed their support for the cause.” 

For the past four years, DiMatteo has designed graphics for the Melrose Farmers Market. She also designed the latest Melrose Human Rights Commission logo. Currently, she is doing freelance work for various companies. 

DiMatteo has done her best to cope with the challenges from the pandemic. Even though it has been tough with remote school and working from home, she has treasured the extra time with her family.

“Now that more people are getting vaccinated, I’m hopeful for the new normal,” she commented. “I can’t wait to see other people’s unmasked faces and eating out at restaurants.”

DiMatteo was born in San Francisco and was raised in the Bay Area. Her parents are natives of China and moved to the United States when they were in their early twenties. She moved to Melrose in 2015 and lives with her husband Keith and two children, Thayer, 7 and Ada, 4.