In Support of the Asian-American Community

March 18, 2021

Dear NSMH Family,

If we have learned anything from the past year, it is that we are dependent on one another and each of us can be impacted by the actions of others.  The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has greatly compromised our feelings of safety on our campuses, within our homes, social circles, and communities. For many members of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, the feeling of unsafety is severely heightened due to an increase in violent acts of racism.

According to Stop AAPI Hate, the U.S.’ leading coalition documenting and addressing anti-Asian hate and discrimination amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “there were more than 2,800 reports of anti-Asian discrimination acts within the U.S.” between March 19 and December 31, 2020 alone.  Raising awareness of this issue is vital, and together we can support our Asian and Pacific Islander members, peers, neighbors, and friends through the following actions:

Monitor the conversations around you. The COVID-19 virus is not connected to a specific country or group of people. Comments that suggest otherwise are harmful and place human lives at risk. This source provides helpful strategies for standing up for the Asian and Pacific Islander community.

Create a safety plan for yourself and others. Be aware of your surroundings, limit cell phone distractions, and avoid isolated public transportation stops. Learn about bystander intervention and how we all play a role in creating safe public spaces.

Speak with your peers and elders about anti-Asian racism and violence. 6% of all victims of reported anti-Asian hate crimes are under 20 years old and 7.3% are over 60 years old. Use these resources and activities to expand your understanding of how the COVID-19 virus has led to increased racism against Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

Support Asian American owned businesses.  Recent studies show Asian-American business owners saw declines in business a full month before nationwide lockdowns began last year. 

Continue your diversity learning journey. Start with watching PBS’s documentary on Asian American history or this series from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

During this ongoing time of physical distance, it’s more important than ever that we stay emotionally connected and support one another.

Let’s stand together NSMH Nation,

Gaby Turiel, NSMH National Chair