As members of the Asian and Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Association (APIFSA) at Cal State East Bay, we condemn the alarming rise in anti-Asian xenophobia occurring around the world as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The core of our mission is centered on cultivating a rich culture, community and sanctuary for ourselves as a way to celebrate our API diversity and commonality. As our organization strives to be culturally and politically engaged, as well as accessible to our Asian Pacific Islander community and as one of the largest populations on campus, it is incumbent upon us to stand up for our community.
APIFSA offers a network of support to staff, faculty and students and advocates for issues affecting our community and others. As the University Diversity Officer stated in a recent message, the Cal State East Bay community welcomes and includes all, as well as fosters a genuine sense of belonging. Therefore, we strongly believe the Cal State East Bay community can and should play a role in educating, protecting and upstanding for those more visible and vulnerable. While we may be working from home, we are still caring for our elders, shopping in grocery stores, or walking in our neighborhoods. And unfortunately, visibility, as historically experienced by people of color, is once more a liability.
COVID-19 has affected everyone and we must now more than ever exercise kindness, compassion, solidarity, and support. APIFSA is asking colleagues to be stewards and upstanders for the AAPI community so that anti-Asian events in history do not repeat themselves again. One way to upstand during this time of social distancing is to echo and share anti-racist posts. Another powerful tool is to educate people about racism associated with the Coronavirus in addition to understanding the virus itself. We have included articles and tools to help everyone learn how they can be an upstander and advocate for equity.
Fighting back against xenophobia requires that we arm ourselves with knowledge and be prepared to respond. Resources are available to help you understand the history of xenophobia, why it’s important that we call the virus by its scientific name rather than associated with a specific country, identify harassment in both its obvious and subtle forms, and put forth recommendations for how to respond should you encounter harassment yourself or bear witness to harassment, either in person or online.
If you have experienced racial bigotry or been victimized at the university, please reach out to the Diversity Office and report the incident at Stop AAPI Hate. The FBI has warned against a rise in hate crimes and data collection can help ensure these incidents are taken seriously.
Cal State East Bay condemns hatred and xenophobia in all forms. During this difficult time, our university community must come together to support each other. APIFSA thanks you on behalf of ourselves and our families for standing up against hate.
Quick guidelines, printable brochures:
Report Racist Incidences:
As a reminder, reach out to friends and family to support you through these difficult times.
If you have a concern or think you may have been exposed to Covid-19, please refer to the CDC guidelines for more information and next steps.
APIFSA thanks Andrea Lum, Balvinder Kumar, and Fa’aalu Lealaimatafao for drafting this document.