Thursday, July 23, 2020

Topics on Asian-America, xenophobia at Pitt Diversity Forum 2020, July 28 to 30.

This year's installment of the annual Pitt Diversity Forum, titled Advancing Social Justice: A Call To Action, will feature a number of topics related to Asian-America and xenophobia. It is open to the Pitt community and runs from July 28 to 30. Particularly relevant topics include, on July 29:

A Conversation Too Long Ignored: How COVID-19, Xenophobia and Systemic Racism Disenfranchise the Marginalized Communities of Pittsburgh (Livestream)
Marian M. Lien, Josiah Gilliam, and James Cook

As the pandemic escalated with cases, it also intensified daily impacts of systemic racism on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Facilitators at this workshop will discuss local perspectives of how racist and xenophobic incidents including physical and verbal assaults have dramatically increased against the Asian and Asian American populations, and how the pandemic has negatively affected the BIPOC communities who were already experiencing limited access to health care, paid sick leave, economic insecurity, and higher rates of underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory illnesses that make COVID-10 infections deadly. They will share organizational and community action plans, as well as creating alliances, partnerships, and coalitions to reach a racial equity vision.

Inclusivity in the Asian Community: Above and Beyond an Acronym
University of Pittsburgh students Alyssa Khieu, Uma Balaji, Eric Duong, Gabriel Gilbert, Zach Lim, Lyka Mamaril, Tommy Nguyen, Sam Rae, Mary Vi, Vikki Wang, Paris Yamamoto, and Katherine Yang

With so many different acronyms that describe the Asian and Pacific Islander community, it’s difficult to navigate which is the right term to use in the right context, while still ensuring that our language is inclusive. In this workshop, Pitt’s Asian Student Alliance, Chinese American Student Association, Filipino Students Association, Japanese Student Association, Korean Student Association, Vietnamese Student Association, and South Asian Student Alliance will explore the different acronyms for the Asian and Pacific Island diaspora, why each was created, and more broadly, the large disparities between groups within this community. The Asian and Pacific Islander American community has the largest socioeconomic gap of all racial minority groups in the United States. This workshop will discuss why this gap exists and how the Model Minority Myth drives this gap, in addition to impacting relations with other marginalized communities—ultimately, explaining why the acronyms and language we use are important.
The Contagion of Xenophobia
Phuc Tran, author, educator, classicist; Alyssa Khieu, advocacy chair of the Asian Student Alliance; Waverly Duck, PhD, urban sociologist and associate professor of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Sociology; and Sheila Velez-Martinez, the Jack & Lovell Olender Professor of Refugee, Asylum, and Immigration Law and director of clinical programs, University of Pittsburgh; and Paula Davis, assistant vice chancellor for Health Sciences Diversity at the University of Pittsburgh (moderator).

This session will explore the targeted physical and psychological violence and hate crimes perpetrated against Asian Americans and other ethnic groups across the United States. Participants will explore the complexities of assimilation and how the US has been wary of almost every group of immigrants that has arrived.
The event is free and open to the University of Pittsburgh community. Space is limited and registration is required.