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KPH Statement on Asian American and Pacific Islander Anti-Hate

Dear KPH Students, Faculty, and Staff,  

We join so many others in denouncing the acts of violence directed against Asian members of our communities - most recently, the shootings in Atlanta that resulted in the deaths of six Asian women. Although the shootings have yet to be classified as hate crimes, they are a symptom of the same affliction that led to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, and countless others - the belief, rooted in ignorance of other people’s stories, that someone else’s life is worth less than another’s. To the shooter in Atlanta, the women were to blame for a ‘sex addiction.’ In actuality, the women ranged in age from 44 to 74 and were wives, mothers, and grandmothers, and the stories of how they came to be working in Atlanta are as unknown to us as they were unimportant to the shooter. Every death is a reminder of how many stories we don’t know and never learned in our history classes. We still can learn. Truly standing against racism requires educating ourselves and others about those stories, and about ways to bring about change. In fact, we are not truly standing against racism unless we are open to hearing those stories. Towards that end, we share a short list of resources to get folks started: 

In addition, Kinesiology and Public Health faculty, staff and students have organized activities to build community and promote inclusion and equity within our department, including: 

  • Belonging events - in-person and virtual opportunities to foster community and belonging among KPH students 
  • Inclusive conversations - dialogue on diversity, equity and inclusivity in the KPH department 
  • Inclusive pedagogy presentations - faculty present on teaching techniques they’ve used to promote inclusion and equity in their classes 
  • Book circles - student and faculty/staff book circles discussing works focused on racism (Fall 2020) and anti-fat discrimination (Spring 2021) 
  • Community forums - provides a virtual space to discuss current events throughout the year 
  • Partnership with the College of Science and Math’s Inclusion & Equity Committee to deliver college and university-wide events (e.g., Picture a Scientist film screening & panel discussion) 

The events of the past year - the health disparities made visible by the pandemic, the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the increase in anti-Asian violence - are occasions to denounce racism and hate. They also serve as reminders to us to recognize when some of us fall into targeted and marginalized groups, and to act in ways, however small they may seem, that make our community more inclusive and equitable.  

In Solidarity,  

The Department of Kinesiology & Public Health

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