March 3, 2020
The Asian Pacific American Resource Center (APARC) supports and affirms the experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage communities at the University of Minnesota. A recent incident with the Admissions Ambassadors student group depicting and perpetuating xenophobia about COVID-19 was brought to our attention. APARC is deeply disappointed that a group of student leaders from the Office of Admissions, who serve as critical first touchpoints for University of Minnesota prospective students and families, made light of a global health concern and perpetuated xenophobia and stereotypes of Asian heritage communities.
In times of crisis U.S. history is filled with xenophobic hate, violence and policies that target individuals who resemble or are assumed to be from particular countries or groups involved in the crisis situation (e.g., 9/11 Islamaphobia, WWII Internment of Japanese Americans). Similar to public health emergencies such as the 2003 SARS and 2014 Ebola outbreaks, we are seeing increased racial prejudice and violence with COVID-19.
APARC stands against all actions that continue to enable xenophobia, stereotypes, and racism targeting communities of color. We are currently working to address the incident with institutional partners, including the Office for Equity and Diversity and the Office of Admissions. We call on all campus units to stand against COVID-19 xenophobia and nurture a more inclusive, supportive campus racial climate.
Resources are available on campus, including health services, counseling, and help if you need support or have questions. Additional information to counter stigma and bias related to COVID-19 can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you believe that you are experiencing discrimination or bias related to your national origin, race, or other protected characteristic on campus, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmation Action. APARC staff may be reached at email@example.com if you wish to discuss concerns about COVID-19 bias.
Please continue to take care of yourself, be kind to others, and seek support if needed.
Asian Pacific American Resource Center