CFA-Sponsored Educational Video Details COVID-19-Related Discrimination Against API Communities

As CFA spends May honoring our Asian and Pacific Islander members’ contributions to academia, their communities, and union solidarity, the celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month takes on a new significance during the COVID-19 crisis.

Many members of the API community are experiencing COVID-fueled physical attacks and harassment.  CFA member and San Francisco State Professor Dr. Russell Jeung has joined a coalition tracking the discrimination, including physical assaults, verbal attacks, and shunning.

Jeung developed a 24-minute video that powerfully illustrates the profiling and assaults. 

CFA’s Council for Racial and Social Justice and Asian Pacific Islander Caucus are co-sponsors of the educational video aimed at helping university students develop a critical analysis of this racism, and develop strategies of social change and racial justice. 

“This film highlights the impacts of COVID-19 on members of our CSU campus communities beyond its physical symptoms.  In particular, it calls us to attend to the resurgence of hatred and violence against Asian/Asian American community members and to recall their ongoing resistance to this newest chapter of racism,” said Chris Cox, co-chair of CFA’s Council for Racial and Social Justice. “It is a great teaching device that contributes to the work of the Council for Racial and Social Justice by providing tools for educators and others in the quest to combat structural racism.”  

The project also includes a curriculum that can be used in high school and college courses.  Find the video and curriculum here.

“The Asian American community has a long legacy of resistance to racism, and just as quickly COVID-19 racism arose in the U.S., the community has rapidly addressed this issue. I wanted to share ways students and the broader community could understand the racial hate they’re seeing, and more importantly, how they could take part in eradicating it,” Jeung said.

Join CFA May 18 for a watch party of the video and help celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!  The virtual party is next Monday at 4 p.m.  Register for it here.

“CFA’s API Caucus is proud to sponsor Dr. Jeung’s video because it supports CFA’s commitment to fight against racism and for social justice. We must educate and publicly denounce the acts of violence against the API community and build solidarity with other communities of color to combat the racism and inequalities that this pandemic has highlighted,” said Lisa Kawamura, co-chair of CFA’s API Caucus.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. An opportunity to commemorate the history, contributions and achievements of the AAPI community, the month of May was chosen because of two historic milestones: May 7, 1843, when the first Japanese immigrants landed in the U.S., and May 10, 1869, when the first transcontinental railroad was completed with significant contributions from Chinese workers.

In addition to joining CFA for the video screening, members can watch last week’s Free the CSU videocast, “Vulnerable CSU Populations and How Racism, Bigotry Spread with the Virus.”

CFA members can also participate in Give in May, a coordinated giving campaign to support the work of Asian American and Pacific Islander nonprofits.  Donors can choose from more than 100 non-profits across the country that benefit the AAPI community.

PBS is also airing a five-hour film series titled “Asian Americans” this week that details through personal stories a fresh perspective on American history and culture and the ongoing roles Asian Americans have played in them.