Please join the Columbia School of Social Work for an important panel discussion of epidemics and the insidious ways that stigma and racism affect our response to them. Previous epidemics—HIV/AIDS, SARS, Ebola, and others—have been accompanied by waves of discriminatory behaviors, actions, and policies.
We now see this with the Coronavirus crisis. While it is clear that the virus does not discriminate or target the members of any racial or ethnic group, incidents of anti-Asian bias and discrimination are currently on the rise. Racist behaviors negatively affect the mental and physical health of Asian-identified members of our community. For non-Asian identified people, we must be even more self-aware and mindful of our generalizations and assumptions about Asian people. And we have an even greater responsibility to show empathy and care to all in our community.
We hope this session will help us to respond as a community, and to explore and challenge our own biases, our processes, and our engagement in difficult dialogues about racism.
Merlin Chowkwanyun, Donald H. Gemson Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University
Alissa Davis, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Columbia University