How You Can Help Combat Anti-Asian Racism at UConn and Beyond?

The increase in senseless acts of violence, harassment, and bias against the Asian community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is alarming and intolerable. According to AAPI Emergency Response Network (a collaboration between the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and other non-profit groups) over 1900 hate incidents against AA and NHPI individuals have been reported across 46 states, and 32% of Americans have reported seeing someone blaming Asians for the coronavirus pandemic1. The Center for Career Development does not tolerate discrimination or violence of any kind and stands in solidarity with members of the Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities in condemning these senseless and targeted attacks.

The Career Center’s foundational values continue to support respect for all members of the UConn community and our partners as we aspire to inclusiveness, diversity of thought and action, and open-mindedness. We refuse to be bystanders and remain committed to ensuring that every individual feels safe, seen, and welcome. We recognize though that these acts of hate do not just exist within the confines of University of Connecticut but at the national level as well. Along with our colleagues in the Asian American Cultural Center, the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute (AAASI), and UConn’s Association for Asian American Faculty and Staff (AAAFS), we share their statement and plea to “not only identify and call-out this kind of behavior and its bad actors” but to also “work systemically and synergistically to change culpable aspect of our university and society to ultimately eradicate this malignancy.” How can you help combat anti-Asian racism at UConn and beyond?

Report Hate and Violence

The Department of Homeland Security’s “If you see something, say something” campaign was created to encourage the reporting suspicious activity in efforts to keep our communities safe from terrorism. But our responsibility of reporting activity and ensuring safety does not just fall within the realm or our mass transit and commerce systems, it also exists within the daily interactions with our fellow human beings. When you see acts of Anti-Asian hate, violence, and prejudice say something and report it! The AAPI Emergency Response Network has pulled together a list of resources to help individuals report hate incidents.

Educate and Intervene

Racism is real. It is not simply a “current event” or something that will disappear when the news stories and media attention fades away. Educating yourself on ways to continually combat racism and be a voice of change are two simple ways to make an impact. Participating in Bystander Intervention programs like ones offered through organizations like Asian Americans Advancing Justice or listening to podcasts such as NPR’s “The Rise in Anti-Asian Attacks During the COVID-19 Pandemic” can help you ensure you have the facts to understand the true impacts to the AAPI community and what you can do to help.

Get Involved

Be it direction action or financial contributions, there are many ways to help end hate. Joining movements like #WashTheHate and #IAMNOTAVIRUS (created by UConn’s own activist in residence, Mike Keo) provide outlets for individuals to share personal stories that bring awareness to and provide education on, the issues faced by adults and children within the AAPI community. Contributing to fundraisers and making monetary donations are also ways to lend your support. Donating to nonprofit organizations and funds like Stop AAPI Hate and  #HATEISAVIRUS ensures that the proper support for awareness campaigns, partnership with community leaders, and health and safety services can continue to take place for the Asian American and other BIPOC communities.

1 ”Hate Incidents”, AAPI Emergency Response Network, accessed March 12, 2021, https://www.aapiern.org/hate-incidents

Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

By Kristen Soprano
Kristen Soprano Career Consultant Kristen Soprano