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Titan Community Values Regarding Anti-Asian Discrimination, Racism, and Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday April 02, 2020 4:13 pm

Dear Campus Community:

April has long-been been designated CSUF’s Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month; a time to not only honor APIDA cultures and traditions, but also celebrate our Titan Family’s significant contributions to this rich and vibrant history.

This year, as we pivot to uphold and enhance these important traditions virtually, we do so in a context of a global spike that flies in the face of everything that we, as Titans, stand for. Yes, we are all facing a virus that threatens our health and economic stability, but many of our classmates and colleagues from our APIDA community, and more specifically from our Asian and Asian American communities, are facing a second, equally devastating pandemic that is spreading in concert with the first: xenophobia and racism.

I am extremely grateful that there have been no specific reports of such misguided hate that we know of within our Titan community, but to assume that our Asian and Asian American faculty, staff, and students have somehow been spared these racially-motivated injustices would be as irrational as it is irresponsible. Indeed, with a president who repeatedly and intentionally racializes the disease, a national history plagued with anti-Asian policy, and the recent uptick in hate against Asian and Asian American populations, there is not only ample evidence that many among us are dealing with the added fear of racism, but also a moral imperative for the rest of us, as Titans, to stand in solidarity with them.

Titan Family, now more than ever, it is time to take that stand and embrace the responsibility that comes with being home to the third-largest APIDA population in the nation, especially when the very people who are the manifestation of that ranking are being subjected to discrimination, racism, and even violence. We must act as an inclusive steward of place when our colleagues and classmates are suffering from this marginalization. And we must call it out for what it is €” racism and xenophobia €” and counter it with acts of inclusion, kindness, and community.

All of that begins by celebrating our Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month with greater devotion and dedication than ever before. All CSUF APIDA Heritage Month events will be held via Zoom and can be found here, and I encourage you to engage and participate.

Further, for any APIDA Titans who have experienced or fear experiencing bigotry and hate during this difficult time, we are committed to providing many combinations of virtual support, including:

Finally, I want to thank the faculty, staff, and student assistants who have worked so hard to ensure that these and many other resources are available to all Titans. I also want specifically to recognize and thank CSUF’s Department of Asian American Studies (AAS) for their stellar leadership and advocacy, not just during this difficult time or one month out of the year, but at all times and in every month. We are extremely proud of our Department of AAS.

Together, as we celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month, we can and will shine as a beacon of inclusion and allyship, illuminating CSUF, Orange County, and the world with the light of love and inclusion that no virus or hate can ever extinguish.


Fram Virjee