The Statement

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

 

On Tuesday, February 23rd, United Asian Advocates hosted the University of Cincinnati’s first virtual Asian Leadership Panel and invited eight Asian professionals to speak on how their identities influenced their transition from college to their post-graduate careers. Our meeting was open to our members, the University of Cincinnati community, and to the public. During this discussion, two attendees disrupted the conversation and began to spew hateful and horrific racial slurs. This zoombombing incident left the participants, panelists, and our team distraught, shocked, and disturbed. 

 

United Asian Advocates states in our mission that we strive to create safe spaces for Asian-identifying individuals and communities; however, our space was violated by this lewd act of hate. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident as other student organizations and members of the UC community have experienced similar acts of hate speech and violence across our campus -- both virtually and non-virtually-- such as harmful language used against the African American Cultural and Resource Center just prior to UAA’s event. There have been several instances of anti-Asian racism that have occurred on campus, in parallel with the surge of anti-Asian hate crimes nationally since the beginning of the corona-virus pandemic. 

 

This behavior is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated in any community. Each and every member of the UC community has a responsibility to foster a more inclusive and caring environment for all. It is a necessity to utilize this power to advocate for marginalized communities. The treatment of marginalized populations in this country is echoed in our own university and it is time to change. We must challenge the prejudices in our institutions and within our own lives. 

 

As an executive team, we share this with heavy hearts and are frustrated to make a statement of this sort at this time. However, we will not be silenced by ignorance and are taking steps to move forward so that others will not have to face this kind of hatred in the future. Currently, we are working with SALD to create a university-wide resource to respond to these kinds of hateful acts and a comprehensive list of demands for university administration. We will not allow this to put a hold on our progress in establishing this community and maintaining the safe space we have worked hard to create. We will grow stronger and we will continue our work with more determination and resilience. 

 

In Solidarity,

 

United Asian Advocates

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