by Shelbi Voss
The fight against anti-Asian hate has become widespread across the nation. Organizations on campus are joining the movement, encouraging community participation in events related to bystander intervention.
The Asian American Cultural Center has hosted events to combat anti-Asian racism and xenophobia. The center is currently working with Advancing Justice Chicago, CAIR Chicago and Hollaback! to provide training to help with the identification of hate incidents. These virtual courses are crafted to assist attendees with taking action in a safe and effective manner. The trainings are free through Great Lakes Asian American Student Services. The first event was held in March, and due to high demand, the program is making its return on Friday, April 16.
Miku Morikuni, a senior at the university thinks the trainings could be of use to anyone on campus, regardless of identity. She said, “Even being an Asian person myself, I wouldn’t exactly know the best way to go about a difficult situation.”
The Asian American Cultural Center is not the only group on campus providing opportunities to learn more about bystander intervention. The Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies have used social media to speak out about solidarity with the Asian American community. After the recent attacks at a number of spas in Atlanta, Georgia, they held solidarity hours over Zoom.
Morikuni noted that although people may stand in solidarity or want to take supportive action, they may not always know how to do so. She thought a central hub for information could be of use to the campus community so awareness of various events and trainings could become more readily available. When discussing what might be more useful, she said, “I know there have been a few Massmails denouncing anti-Asian hate, but maybe something that the students find more accessible, like social media.”