Statement from Dr. Kristen Slack, Interim Director, on Atlanta Shootings and Anti-Asian Racism

Documented cases of anti-Asian racism, bigotry, xenophobia, and violence have been on a steady incline since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The horrific murders of eight people, including six Asian women, in Atlanta this week highlight and underscore our long overdue need to address, acknowledge, and fight anti-Asian racism in our country.

Stop AAPI Hate has documented close to 3,800 cases of discrimination against Asians in the U.S. in the past year alone and women report hate incidents 2.3 times more than men. As COVID-19 spread in 2020, some leaders used racist terms to describe the pandemic and deflect blame for its prevalence and one poll showed that almost a third of Americans had witnessed someone wrongly blaming Asian people for the virus.

As social workers and educators, we have an obligation to speak out and stand against bigotry, racism, and gender-based violence. And we must acknowledge the white supremacist, xenophobic, and misogynist roots of anti-Asian racism in the United States.

The university has a reporting system that you can consider using if you experience, hear about or witness anti-Asian bias or hate. The Asian-Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Student Center, is also available as a resource. If you identify as Asian American Pacific Islander and Desi American, please know that you are a valued and integral member of the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work community. We welcome your ideas on how to further our collective efforts to more adequately support and meet the needs of all of our students, particularly in the wake of such horrific acts of violence.

For those who are looking to quickly educate yourself about Asian-American history, anti-Asian violence and bigotry, and organizations aimed at disrupting this violence and bigotry, here are a few resources:

Terrific resource on Asian American history:

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Bystander intervention to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment

How American Mythologies Fuel Anti-Asian Violence

“Where Are You Really From?”: Asian Americans and Identity Denial

When “model minorities” become “yellow peril”—Othering and the racialization of Asian Americans in the COVID‐19 pandemic

Asians and Asian Americans’ Experiences of Racial Discrimination During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impacts on Health Outcomes and the Buffering Role of Social Support

Hate crime increases with minoritized group rank

How white supremacy tried to divide Black and Asian Americans — and how communities worked to find common ground.

Thanks to Mikey Pasek Twitter: @MikeyPasek and others for the above links.