Statements of Solidarity and Support
Black Lives Matter
June 24, 2020
We are heartbroken and angry over the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, among too many others. And we know the effects of systemic racism do not start and end with the criminal justice system. In Michigan, they impact many of our most important institutions such as health and education systems. Black Americans here have died of COVID-19 at a rate four times as high as white Americans, and the number of African-American children living in high poverty areas is one of the highest in the country.
The Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) at the University of Michigan stands united with other organizations around the world who call for fundamental transformation that eradicates systemic, institutional racism, discrimination, brutality, poverty, and violence.
We recognize that such transformation must lift up people of color, especially Black people in the U.S. who have been dehumanized by systems of anti-Blackness, slavery, hatred, and injustice. In so doing, we uphold and work toward creating the reality of social conditions in which all people have the opportunity to thrive together by engaging in organizations and communities characterized by love, compassion, unity, generosity, and integrity.
The research, scholarly practice, and teaching of CPO focus on building, sustaining, and growing organizations, systems, and communities in which cultures of respect, dignity, and belonging are coupled with practices of inclusion, equity, and justice. We ally ourselves with others around the world who are working to advance racial justice and challenge existing systems. The struggle for Black voices to be heard must be met with our increased dedication to listen, learn, and mobilize for action. To help realize such a world, CPO commits to the actions now found here, which will continue to evolve over time for sustained accountability and commitment.
Our Response to Anti-Asian Racism and Violence
March 26, 2021
We are resolute in the stance that hate, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and white supremacy of any kind have no home at the Center for Positive Organizations. We are angry and heartbroken by the increasing number of attacks against Asian Americans across the United States, including the recent mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, where eight people were killed and six were women of Asian descent.
While anti-Asian racism and xenophobia have been on the rise since 2020 due to the harmful anti-Asian rhetoric and scapegoating associating race with the COVID-19 pandemic, they are not new. As University of Michigan Professor Ian Shin explains, “people of Asian descent have been targets of violence in the U.S. since their first arrival here in the mid-19th century.” The murders in Atlanta further highlight the danger Asian women face due to the intersection of racism and misogyny. Additionally, the stereotypes perpetuated by the model minority myth continue to make the experiences and voices of Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders invisible.
We fully support our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities and echo Chief Diversity Officer Robert M. Sellers’ words:
“As a nation, we must come together and be vigilant and decisive in combating xenophobic and racist behavior wherever we find it. We must do our part to support people in our professional and personal communities and speak up and speak out for all communities who are targeted. Collectively, we must rally around the belief that we, as a country and a University, must create a community that is welcoming to all.”
Our work to bolster CPO’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging continues. We believe that thriving organizations recognize the inherent value, worth, and dignity of all people, and fight against racism, discrimination, brutality, poverty, violence, and hate. We will keep honoring and highlighting the scholars in our community who have devoted their life’s work to creating organizations where all people can thrive.
For a list of other ways to support the AAPI community, please visit Ross’ Asian American Business Association website to read their official statement and call to action to #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate.
Join us in taking action
- Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophonic Harassment (Hollaback! In partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice)
- A Guide to Bystander Intervention (Hollaback!)
University of Michigan resources
- Asian American Business Association
- The Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Task Force’s compilation of support resources and information
- The Asian Pacific Islander Desi/American (APID/A) Staff Association’s Visual Resources: Tips for Conversations Around Anti-Asian Violence
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC)
- Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO)
- Report incidents via the Campus Climate Support website
- Stop AAPI Hate National Report
- Anti-Asian Violence Resources
- Eight Ways to Stand Up to Hate (Greater Good Science Center)
- There’s been a Rise in anti-Asian attacks. Here’s how to be an Ally in the Community (USA Today)
- Page Act of 1875 (Wikipedia)
- Violence against Asian Americans on the rise, but racism isn’t new (Michigan News Faculty Q&A with Professor Ian Shin)
- Anti-Asian Racism and COVID-19 (Colorado Arts & Sciences), by Jennifer Ho
- America’s Long History of Scapegoating Its Asian Citizens (National Geographic)
- The Long History of Sexual and Physical Violence Asian Women Face in the U.S. (NPR)