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 diversity, equity, and inclusion 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.

At CPO we are taking the following specific actions to support the AAPI community:

  • Elevating Asian scholars’ voices in meetings, events, and communications.
  • Integrating DEI scholarship in CPO research and teaching.
  • Collectively sharing resources to ensure that our full group of faculty and staff are active allies and creating a psychologically safe space.
  • Organizing on a regular basis to strategize, generate, and take actions to confront systemic racism in our immediate communities.
  • Continuing conversations among staff and faculty to grow our understanding of identity, race, justice, and the experience of marginalized communities.

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

University of Michigan resources

Other resources

Historical references