March 24, 2021
Dear UMSL Community –
In the past few days and weeks, we have been horrified by the reports of racially motivated hate crimes involving physical violence and harassment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, especially against the elderly. These are not isolated events. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, xenophobic rhetoric, harassment and violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals, families and communities have increased 150%.
These acts damage our society and counter UMSL’s guiding principle on inclusion, which states, “We believe celebrating and appreciating diversity is not enough. We strive to create a truly inclusive community, one where equity is reality. We recognize individual attributes and respect individual differences while firmly asserting that we are better together.” UMSL Staff Council, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, and the UMSL Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion firmly condemns all forms of prejudice, stigmatization and racism. It not only goes against our values as Tritons, but as Americans as well. It’s wrong and it must stop!
True to our values, condemnation isn’t enough. We will work to engage every member of our community to stand and fight back against the discrimination and violence on Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals. That work begins by listening to and learning from others, encouraging dialogue, standing up and taking action against racism and supporting those in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community to the best of our ability. This is crucial to guaranteeing racial equity and economic inclusion for people of all races and ethnicities.
We’ve provided some resources below to assist with fighting xenophobia and social justice advocacy, reporting xenophobia and hate crimes, and supporting your well-being. Please review them and aid us in supporting all people within the UMSL community.
Fighting Xenophobia and Social Justice Advocacy
- MUST WATCH interview with actress Olivia Munn, on what we need to know and how we can help
- Asian hate crimes: How to be an ally to community amid racism
- 9 Ways You Can Help Prevent Asian American Hate Crimes
- On Anti-Asian Hate Crimes: Who Is Our Real Enemy?
- What You Can Do About Anti-Asian Violence
- Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)
- Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian/American Harassment and Xenophobia Workshop
- The People’s Collective for Justice & Liberation – Provides helpful historic background and strategies on building alliances across racial groups as well as Redefining Safety and Security in the time of Coronavirus/COVID-19: (town hall recordings): Race, Struggle and Solidarity in the Time of A Global Pandemic.
· The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – Guidance around how communicators and public health officials can help counter stigma.
· American Psychological Association – Statements to destigmatize the virus and how to combat bias.
· National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) – Tips for how educators can counter coronavirus stigma and racism.
· Teaching Tolerance – Article on how to respond to coronavirus racism.
· Asian Pacific American Labor Association – Statement on how to fight racial discrimination against Asian American and Pacific Islander workers.
· US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Message on national origin and race discrimination during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Combating APPI Hate in Age of COVID-19
Reporting Xenophobia and a Hate Crime
- University of Missouri–St. Louis: Call 911 or UMSL Police Department at (314) 516-5155 immediately. You do not need to be a citizen to report a crime and DPSS will not ask about your immigration status.
- File a Title IX Report – ODEI is committed to building an inclusive community that is free from any forms of discrimination or harassment. If you have experienced discriminatory actions or witnessed an incident of discrimination, the Title IX office is here to assist.
- University of Missouri System Bias Hotline – https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/74591/index.html
- State of Missouri – If individuals experience incidences of hate, violence or discrimination they can and should report it to their local police department and contact the Attorney General’s office: (573) 751-3321
- Missouri Human Rights Commission – View resources and file a discrimination complaint
- The Asian Pacific Policy Planning Counci – l Report incidences of discrimination
- Asian Americans Advocating for Justice guide – Document and address anti-Asian racism.
Supporting Your Well-Being
- UMSL Health, Counseling & Disability Access Office – Available to link students to needed resources. Students are also encouraged to reach out to counselors and advisors if they face challenges.
- UMSL Recreation & Wellness Center – Offers a wide variety of wellness programs and education to improve the quality of life of the UMSL community.
- Medium published an article entitled: Surviving Racism Amidst Covid-19.
- Racial Equity Tools created a resource page for coping with and advocacy for anti-Asian racism: COVID-19-Racial Equity and Social Justice Resources.
- Self-Care Tips for Asian Americans Dealing with Racism amid Coronavirus
“Ultimately, this is about who we are as a nation. This is about how we treat people with dignity and respect. Everyone has the right to go to work, to go to school, to walk down the street and be safe, and also, the right to be recognized as an American — not as the other, not as them, but as us.
A harm against any one of us is a harm against all of us. The President and I will not be silent. We will not stand by. We will always speak out against violence, hate crimes, and discrimination, wherever and whenever it occurs.” – Vice President Kamala Harris.
Hate against some of us harms all of us. We encourage our community — students, staff, alumni and faculty — to acknowledge and denounce ongoing anti-Asian hate crimes, as well as to amplify efforts to eliminate this form of discrimination. This is our commitment as Tritons and as Americans.
UMSL Staff Council, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, and the UMSL Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Tiffany Izard, Staff Council President
Blaine Milligan, Staff Council Representative