COVID-19: Statement of Solidarity and Support

Statement of Solidarity and Support Against Anti-Asian Racism and Violence | Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program   

March 27, 2020

As the novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to spread in these unsettled times, the staff and faculty of Duke’s Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program (AADS) renew our commitment to fostering an environment of mutual support and advocacy despite the social and physical distance between us now. Wherever you may be sheltering, on campus or away, we hope that you and your loved ones are weathering these uncertain times and are practicing self-care, mutual support and compassion. As educators, we are committed to supporting your learning and teaching goals in creative ways while mediated through technology and physical distance. Here is a community-initiated open-source syllabus for teaching and sharing resources on this topic. We acknowledge that just as frightening as the spread of the Coronavirus, is the concerning rise of anti-Asian and particularly anti-Chinese harassment and violence both online and physical in the U.S. and around the globe. This current trend shows how fear and xenophobia have been used to justify racist sentiments and actions against people of Asian descent. Such aggressions are not new and are embedded in a long history of anti-Asian violence in the US and elsewhere.

As a program dedicated to teaching about and fighting the unequal dynamics of race and ethnicity within the U.S. and within structures of transnational movements and dislocations of people, Duke’s Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program strongly condemns racism and hate toward all people, and we stand in solidarity with those who are being viciously targeted today. We advocate for a critical understanding of how ideas about race and racial difference take shape over time with the larger goal of exposing and dismantling such racist beliefs and attacks. We oppose expressions of fear and anxiety of COVID-19 manifest as hate toward Asian people and people of Asian descent and urge the Duke community and others to stand with us against these cowardly acts of violence. Duke’s Office for Institutional Equity is one local resource for assistance and reporting for those who have experienced discrimination or harassment based upon race, national origin or other protected categories of identity, at 919-684-8222, or oie-help@duke.eduSTOP AAPI HATE and Asian Americans Advancing Justice are national reporting sites. Other resources are available at our partner organization NCAAT. AADS will continue to update our program site with local and national resources for addressing these concerns. Please share these and other available resources to help those who have been the target of inflammatory racist rhetoric and violence.