Take Action in Support of the Asian Pacific Islander
Desi American Community

sdsu logo for division of student affairs and campus diversity

Dear SDSU Community,

Members of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) communities are hurting as we see increasing anti-Asian bias and a number of hate-motivated incidents across our nation, and even in our local region. In the past few weeks, a number of violent crimes have occurred specifically targeting members of our APIDA community, including:

  • In San Francisco, an 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, who was from Thailand, died from injuries sustained after he was pushed to the sidewalk in an unprovoked attack.
  • In Oakland’s Chinatown, a 91-year-old man was shoved to the ground by someone believed to have shoved two other elderly Asian Americans to the ground in unprovoked attacks.
  • In New York, a 61-year old Filipinx-American Noel Quintana was slashed in the face by a stranger during an unprovoked subway confrontation.
  • In Pennsylvania, Christian Hall, a 19-year-old, was shot and killed by state troopers after a call for help had been made for him. A video captured during the incident indicates that Hall’s hands were in the air when he was shot.
  • In Antioch, Calif., Angelo Quinto, a 30-year-old Navy veteran, died after an officer knelt on his neck for minutes while Quinto was handcuffed.
  • In San Diego, an elderly Filipinx-American woman was punched in an unprovoked attack on a trolley.

There are other examples of injustices against APIDA communities. Several Asian-owned businesses have been vandalized and robbed. Also, in the past year, Southeast Asian refugees have been deported and detained, increasing their risk of COVID-19.

Why This Message is Important

Since the beginning of the pandemic, APIDA communities have been blamed for the virus that causes COVID-19. Such anti-Asian sentiments are not new. The 1900 bubonic plague outbreak in San Francisco led to the quarantine and discrimination of Chinese communities. The SARs outbreak in the 2000s led to worldwide stigmatization of those with Asian ancestry. The current COVID-19 pandemic has been referred to by racist and erroneous terms, such as “China Virus” and “Kung Flu.”

San Diego State University stands in solidarity with APIDA communities in condemning any and all acts of hate, intolerance, and discrimination. We know that many within our SDSU community are connected to communities and other issues globally. This is a point of pride for SDSU, but it also comes with a responsibility to be responsive, and this is all the more important during times of adversity. Issues of hate intersect with issues of justice all over the globe, as evidenced by recent examples in Myanmar over the restoration of democracy, and in India, as tens of thousands of farmers and farm workers protest agricultural reforms they say will destroy their livelihoods.

We seek to foster a campus climate and culture that is welcoming to all APIDA students, faculty, staff, community members, and alumni and ask that you join us in taking action in support of our APIDA communities.

Take Action

Anti-Asian racism and xenophobia continues today. It remains real. It remains a problem. It must be acknowledged, condemned, and we, as a community, must be better. To that end, the SDSU APIDA Resource Center is providing the following resources and opportunities:

  • Let’s Talk!” spaces to discuss and unpack current events
  • Let’s Be Better Together!” trainings/workshops to learn about ways to respond to anti-Asian hate
  • Cultural education workshops and other programs to learn more about historical and current contexts.
  • The APIDA Conference, to be held April 3 and April 10, that will examine COVID-19 impacts on APIDA communities, featuring leaders from STOP AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and other organizations.
  • The Spring 2021 Summit that will allow space for SDSU APIDA student organization leaders to connect and work on solidarity efforts.
  • Resource Guide to help respond to anti-Asian hate (coming soon)

To learn more about the SDSU APIDA Resource Center’s solidarity work and #RISEwithAPIDA initiative, and for event details and information about other activities, email [email protected] and/or follow the center on Instagram at @sdsuapidacenter. (Flyers are also in this google folder.)

Support Services Available

No matter where you are physically located, we remind you that, as members of our one SDSU community, support is directly available to you.

  • To our students: If you need mental or emotional support, please reach out to the SDSU Counseling and Psychological Services.
  • To faculty and staff: You can rely on the Employee Assistance Program (login required), which offers confidential support for a variety of concerns. Please also consider joining an Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at SDSU. The SDSU Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) ERG and Bayanihan Filipino American Faculty and Staff Association are among those currently active.
  • To all: Information about additional SDSU support services is available online. If you experience and/or witness a race-based incident/attack, please submit a report to Inclusive SDSU.

In closing, we’d like to share and support the SDSU APIDA Resource Center’s Solidarity Statement:

SDSU Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Resource Center denounces all acts of intolerance, hate, and discrimination. We urge all persons to stand in solidarity with the APIDA community against racist sentiments. We want all of our community members, especially those who identify as APIDA, to know that we see you, care about you, and support you. We will rise above the racist zoombombing of an AB Samahan meeting on April 10, 2020. We will rise above the anti-Asian sentiment caused by local, national, and global conversations concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. We will act with care and compassion for those impacted by COVID-19. We will be kinder, braver, and stronger for those who feel targeted and vulnerable. We will work together to create a safe, supportive space. All are welcome here. #RISEwithAPIDA

We are here for you. In solidarity.

J. Luke Wood, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity

Virginia Loh-Hagan, Ed.D.
Director of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Resource Center