by Susan McLaughlin
Please read IREACH’s Statement of Support for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as drafted by our Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee:
For the past year, many people have blamed Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) for the COVID-19 pandemic—slander born of xenophobia and ignorance. While racism and discrimination against AAPI community members sadly predate the pandemic, we are seeing more reports of attacks and harassment against people perceived as being of AAPI descent. In statements from campuses throughout the Washington State University (WSU) system, University leaders acknowledged the recent March 17 mass shooting in Atlanta that took the lives of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, as a part of a trend of increased violence and hate directed at members of the AAPI community. We also recognize that the horrific crimes in Atlanta reflect the intersection of anti-AAPI racism and violence against women. According to Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, “This is racially motivated sexual violence against women.” WSU stands in solidarity with AAPI communities and commits itself to foster environments where individuals actively speak out against acts of discrimination, harassment, and violence. JEDI will be vocal, visible, and unwavering allies in the fight against AAPI hate.
We understand that many are experiencing high levels of stress or trauma as a direct result of heightened anti-AAPI racism. Each of us can offer comfort and support to members of our community who are feeling targeted and vulnerable. If you are need of guidance, please access this resource guide on anti-Asian and Pacific Islander violence that WSU Vancouver’s Bias Response Team has compiled.