We Value Asian-American and Pacific Islander Lives: UNF Department of Psychology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Statement on Anti-Asian Racism
The UNF Department of Psychology Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee is saddened to again be compelled to respond to the racially-motivated murders and hate escalating in our country. In the United States since March 2020 there have been at least 3,800 reported hate incidents targeting Asian Americans. Following the mass killing of 6 Asian American women in Atlanta, the murders of Vicha Ratanapakdee and Juanito Falcon, murders of Angelo Quinto and Christian Hall at the hands of the police, as well as numerous physical and numerous verbal assaults on Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) across the country including the attacks on Noel Quintana, Bawi Cung and his children, Nancy Toh, Danilo Yu Chang, and more, we write this statement in support and solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members.
We want to send a message that we stand in solidarity with our AAPI students, colleagues, and community members. We recognize that, although anti-Asian hate crimes have increased as a direct result of the rhetoric associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian hate is NOT a recent occurrence. There is a long history of anti-Asian hate within the United States which reflects continued minoritization, systemic oppression, and discrimination perpetuated by anti-Asian racism. Even within our own community, students, faculty, staff, and community members report experiencing anti-Asian hate, which is unacceptable. We also recognize that the constant dehumanization, historical trauma, vicarious trauma, microaggressions, intersectional oppression, and invisibility combine to create a level of racial trauma that can be life threatening.
There are ways we can all be part of the solution:
- First, educate yourself about AAPI hate. We encourage you to watch and discuss the 23-minute Combating AAPI Racism in Age of Covid-19 educational video with friends and family:
- Read the Stop AAPI Hate Campaign report and gain a better understanding of what the AAPI community has experienced since the spread of hateful rhetoric by leaders at all levels in our country following the pandemic.
- Check out this article which provides a broad overview of the ways we can support the AAPI community.
- If you or others experience incidents of bias on campus, please report those to our Department of Diversity Initiatives. The university does follow up on these if enough information is provided.
- Finally, you don't have to suffer from this in silence. If you are affected by the rising discrimination and hate against the AAPI community, please consider reaching out to the UNF Counseling Center. This is a free resource to all students.
As a department, we will:
- Continue to encourage our faculty to support Asian-American/Pacific Islander as well as Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) faculty and students through offering flexibility and resources for support, but also by naming, confronting, and disrupting institutional and systemic racism in our classrooms.
- Continue to engage in a recursive process of addressing our own racism. This includes better understanding our field's history and present-day perpetuation of racism.
- We will be examining the operations, procedures, and practices within our department to ensure we are working to dismantle racism within our own actions with intentionality including working actively to recruit and support BIPOC and AAPI faculty through creating a culture that values racial and social justice.
- We plan to critically evaluate our curriculum and be intentional about including activities within courses that will target dismantling racism.
- This will include discussing the history of structural and systemic racism in psychological science as well as the ways in which racism continues in our field today.
- Recommend courses that currently address relevant topics
- Recommend that students contact faculty that are interested in doing research on these topics
- Including activities across classes that will help students to engage in their own critical thinking about their own racism
- We will also commit to using our science to be part of dismantling racism of all forms and we will be intentional in mentoring BIPOC, including AAPI, students in our labs to continue to advance this science.
- At a university level:
- We will advocate for changes to our student code of conduct to specifically address hate speech on campus.
- We will advocate for greater and more frequent acknowledgement of the underrepresentation of AAPI and BIPOC faculty and students in our UNF community.
- We will advocate to break down institutional barriers to address that underrepresentation including scholarships for students, serving as mentors, and addressing compensation.