RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Madhavi Krevat says she lives with the childhood trauma of being misunderstood.
"I grew up here in North Carolina. I was the only Indian girl in school and so it was really hard for people to relate to me," she said. "I was bullied a lot. The teachers were kind of racist. I hate to say that, but it's true. They treated me a lot differently than the other kids. They were a lot meaner to me. Not as understanding or forgiving. They made fun of me in front of the other kids."
The activist lives in Apex with her family raising awareness on key issues important to the Asian American Pacific Islander community like hate crimes.
"I want people to understand who we Asian Americans are and I think our heritage should be part of a school curriculum," said Krevat.
According to Census data, the Asian American community is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the state with a 64 percent population increase from 2010 to 2020.
According to the FBI, a 168 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crime incidents was reported from 2020 to 2021.
Tuesday marked AAPI Advocacy Day at the North Carolina General Assembly. There are four AAPI lawmakers and advocates say this opens the door for more. They say the community has a lot of voting power.
"To have representation in the building is really important because it shows there's a path to policy making. There's a path to being a public servant," said Jimmy Patel-Nguyen with North Carolina Asian Americans Together. "The Asian American vote matters. It can really swing those elections. Candidates should take notice."
It's something the mother of three can agree on.
"So many diverse communities we have here. We all need to get to know each other better," said Krevat.
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