SRCD Asian Caucus COVID-19 Pandemic Statement

Dear Asian Caucus members

On behalf of the Asian Caucus steering committee, I hope this post finds you and your families well. When the COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak first emerged, it was hard to imagine it would lead to a world-wide pandemic that would shut down governments, businesses, schools, and public spaces. In the midst of the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, Asian children, youth, and families around the world have been uniquely affected by xenophobia and racism from verbal assaults to violent attacks on children and families. In the United State alone, over 1,000 racist hate crimes have been documented. These racist events are happening all over the world. And it’s important to recognize that the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread stigma and fears about wearing a face mask and a disproportionate impact on Latino and African American communities. But we cannot stay quiet. Xenophobic and racist acts are deplorable and cannot be tolerated. The SRCD Asian Caucus condemns all forms of xenophobia and racism that target any individual, group, or community.

Now more than ever, it is an important reminder that we all are responsible for taking a stand against xenophobia and racism. As scholars, we are not exempt from taking action outside the halls of academia. If you see such behaviors or hear such comments in meetings and classrooms, via zoom and social media, or in your neighborhood and community, it is our moral obligation to speak up, intervene as a bystander, and check in with the intended targets to make sure they are safe and have support. Consider using the 5 D’s of bystander intervention. At a minimum, learn what to do and share this information with colleagues, students, and your local communities. 

If you have witnessed or experienced xenophobia, racial attacks, and other related hate crimes due to race, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) and Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) have launched a reporting center to allow community members to report incidents of hate they have experienced. The forms are available in multiple Asian languages. Individual information, including personal identification details, will be kept confidential and will only be shared with permission.  In the aggregate, the information will be used for assistance, advocacy and education.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) also has a listing of resources on how to stand against racism during the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. Psychology and higher education associations similarly have resources available to prepare and address these issues.

I encourage you to take time at the start of your classes and student meetings to check in with your students to see how they are coping and use that time as an opportunity to address racism and xenophobia against racial and ethnic minority and international students. Students are looking to faculty and staff to speak up and offer support. This pandemic is affecting all of us but some groups and communities are unfairly at greater risk and vulnerability.

Please take a moment to click on the links, read the stories, and share the resources with your students and colleagues.

We are stronger together.

In solidarity and on behalf of the Asian Caucus Steering Committee,

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Richard M Lee, PhD

Asian Caucus Chair

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