Since March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attacks on the AAPI (Asian/Asian-American Pacific Islander) community, including hate speech and violence, have been on the rise. The advocacy center, Stop AAPI Hate, reports nearly 3,800 hate incidents against the Asian community over the last year. The group says the number could be higher because not all incidents are reported. Researchers note that although the uptick in racism has been amplified because of the pandemic, there has been a long-standing history of prejudice and discrimination towards the Asian community since the late 1800s.
The March report was released the same day of the mass shooting at three Atlanta-area spas and massage parlors, where six of the eight victims were Asian. The White House issued a memorandum to condemn and combat racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against the Asian community in the United States. In his March 11 Presidential Address, President Biden condemned anti-Asian racism, calling on Americans to stop the violence.
Too often, we've turned against one another...[with] vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated. At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, they're on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives, and still, they're forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America… It's wrong. It's un-American. And it must stop.
On March 10, the Seton Hall University Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee issued a statement denouncing anti-Asian racism.
The Seton Hall University Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee stands with the Asian community to condemn the increased xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning and bullying against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders will not be tolerated at Seton Hall. Furthermore, we should strive to be active advocates, upstanders, and allies for marginalized groups. Being servant leaders means our integrity, compassion, and commitment to helping others are exhibited in the classroom, workplace, campus life, and beyond.
The Seton Hall Student Government Association (SGA) issued a similar statement, including supporting AAPI Reflection and Healing Events, organizing anti-Asian racism training for students, and investigating how SGA can provide donations to organizations supporting the Asian American community. SGA volunteers are also working with the DEI Committee to help plan workshops, events, and programming for AAPI Heritage Month in May.
On March 12, members of the Seton Hall Asian and Asian American community and their allies met to discuss the first steps in developing anti-Asian racism training, including reviewing resources from Stop AAPI Hate, Bystander Intervention Training, and other anti-Asian violence sources. The subcommittee will host an AAPI Community Healing and Reflection Event on Wednesday, March 24 at 4:30 p.m. This event, open to all Seton Hall members, will provide a safe, healing, and reflection space because of an increase in anti-Asian/Asian American racism and xenophobic harassment. Participants will be encouraged to connect with Seton Hall community members to discuss campus resources and ways to help.
Other Seton Hall resources include the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, Bias Education Response Team, the Office of EEO and Title IX Compliance, Counseling & Psychological Services, and the Employee Assistance Program.
For more information or to get involved, please contact the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.