We write this statement from a place of outrage, anger, and sadness in response to the rise in violence toward Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) family members, students, colleagues, and communities. We are outraged by the blatant public attacks on AAPI elders while bystanders stand by and look away; we are appalled with the racist and dehumanizing language used by political leaders, law enforcement, and media outlets that continues to fuel anti-Asian violence; and we are deeply saddened by the death, harm, and trauma inflicted onto AAPI communities. While anti-AAPI violence and racism has been consistent throughout US settler colonial history, according to the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, “Anti-Asian hate crime in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 149% in 2020.” As a Department, we denounce this violence, which we believe is rooted in the ideology of white supremacy and settler colonialism.
Our shared outrage, anger, and sadness is balanced by an unending optimism and hope. We recognize the generations of past and present AAPI activists, social workers, teachers, and community members who have tirelessly fought for justice and healing. We take strength and inspiration from their actions, and their belief that a more just world is possible. In the context of so much violence, we practice optimism and hope, as tools to continuously search for ways to support and uplift AAPI communities.
As a Department we acknowledge that we do not have all of the answers, and that we have work to do. We recognize the urgency and need to develop our critical consciousness related to AAPI history and communities, along with racial solidarity movements between AAPI and Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Further, we will continue to develop our intersectionality-based analysis to critically examine differential racialization and racial triangulation caused by white supremacy; we will identify ways to better represent AAPI-centered perspectives in our curriculum and programming; and we will continue to partner and collaborate with Asian American Studies Departments, AAPI student groups, activists, social workers, and AAPI-based community organizations.
Social Work Department Faculty & Staff