Sunday, December 3, 2023


KOA owners sponsor Yellow Whistle Campaign to stop anti-Asian hate

The owners of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) are spearheading a new campaign to raise awareness and help put a stop to the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang recently announced the Yellow Whistle Campaign™. The Tang Family has owned KOA since 1980, along with several other franchising companies and resort complexes throughout North America.

The Yellow Whistle Campaign will distribute 100,000 yellow whistles with the words “We Belong” through a network of community-based organizations and selected KOA campgrounds. This is in an effort to raise awareness and help eliminate violence toward Asian Americans.

The sharp increase in crime against Asian Americans spurred the U.S. Senate to pass a bill on April 22, 2021, called the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. Among other things, the bill expedites Justice Department reviews of hate crimes against Asian Americans. The bill now goes to the U.S. House.

What the Yellow Whistle Campaign is a symbol of

The Yellow Whistle Campaign is a symbol of self-protection and solidarity in the fight against historical discrimination and anti-Asian violence. The whistle serves a universal purpose – to signal alarm and call for help – for all Americans.

“In recent months, I have been very concerned about the attacks on Asian Americans which have been taking place across the country,” said KOA owner Oscar Tang. “In an attempt to do something about it, we’ve come up with The Yellow Whistle as a way to help.”

According to Agnes Hsu-Tang, who wrote the campaign’s mission statement, “In nature, Yellow is the color of daffodils and sunflowers, signaling the advent of spring, bringing hope, optimism, and enlightenment. In America, yellow has been weaponized against Asians as the color of xenophobia.”

“One of KOA’s core beliefs is that the outdoors is fun and for everyone,” said Toby O’Rourke, KOA president and CEO. “To join our ownership in sharing this message is not only meaningful, but important.

Whistles will be available at select KOA locations

In partnership with The Yellow Whistle Campaign, whistles will be offered free to the public at select KOA locations as well as a network of partners including the New York Historical Society. Whistles are intended to be carried as often as possible and are to be used to alert the public to danger. If you hear a whistle, call 911.

“As an American, I have always been very proud of my association with KOA,” Tang said. “KOA is an all-American company that provides a gateway for all Americans to venture forth into the outdoors and see our beautiful country.”

To find out more about the Yellow Whistle Campaign, click here.


What I learned when I wrote “Where are all the Black RVers?”


Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.



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Eric Kaminsky (@guest_124036)
2 years ago

I guess no one has given real thought about the name of the anti-Asian hate campaign, Really, The “Yellow” Whistle Campaign?

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