Support and Advocacy for our Asian Partners and Students

CiAM regrets and condemns the recent acts of violence against Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders in the United States, which has been largely fueled by the stigma around the Covid-19 Pandemic. These attacks are unacceptable; and, they run counter to our values as Americans and our academic institution. We want to acknowledge the feelings of anger, fear, despair, and isolation, these acts leave behind, and the demand it takes on a community already experiencing xenophobia, anti-Asian hate, and injustice. CiAM values and celebrates diversity; as we are comprised of people from a plurality of ethnicities, creeds, backgrounds, countries of origin, and ways of living. We care about our Asian students, faculty, and staff and stand with them during these difficult times. We are here to support, advocate for compassion and justice for our Asian partners, and other marginalized community members. We are here as allies and as a resource to validate, empathize and stand up against injustice when witnessed.

Unfortunately, acts of harassment and violence are not new for our society, and although still underreported, in the last year alone we have witnessed an escalation in such incidents in the Asian community:

  • 150% increase in hate crimes towards Asians and Asian Americans, 
  • 31% increase in verbal harassment, and 
  • a noted 3,795 incidents in the last year (503 incidents occurring in 2021) reported to Stop AAPI Hate

However, we can all do our part to help combat hate and intervene in acts of harassment or violence. As we stand in solidarity with the Asian community, and members of any marginalized group, we ask that as allies we take action when witnessing an act of hate. In response to the Anti-Asian violence crisis, in March the Student Success team participated in a bystander intervention workshop presented by Hollaback, which is an organization that seeks to prevent all forms of harassment through education and skills training. During this bystander invention training session, the Hollaback facilitators presented their “5 D” model for bystander intervention. While this particular workshop was geared towards combating Anti-Asian harassment and violence, this model can readily be applied to situations where other marginalized identity groups are targeted. Hollaback’s “5 D” model consists of the following steps:

  • Distract: derail the situation by doing something like asking the targeted individual for directions or by dropping something on purpose near them. The idea to draw attention away from the targeted person.
  • Delegate: Ask for help or a resource from a nearby third party.
  • Document: Record the situation on your phone or other device. Try to capture street signs or other landmarks; and, mention the day and time out loud. After the situation has been diffused, approach the targeted person and ask them what should be done with the footage you captured. 
  • Delay: In some situations it’s not possible to intervene before the harassment has ended. In these cases, you can approach the targeted person to check on them, offer your support, and share resources with them. 
  • Direct: Actively confront the harasser and tell them that what they’re doing is not welcome or appropriate.

While presenting this model, the Hollaback facilitators related that these steps can be used in conjunction with one other; and, we should use our best judgement to decided which ones are appropriate to use in any given situation with an eye towards our personal safety. For example sometimes it may not be safe for us to directly confront the harasser and in those cases it is better for us to use another one of the “5 D’s”. Projecting our personal safety is just as important as standing up for the targeted individual.

CiAM’s Student Success department remains committed to our community’s safety and wellbeing. We are here for you should you be targeted for harassment for any reason. Please do not hesitate to reach to us for support. Also, if you would like to in Hollaback’s “5 D” bystander intervention model, you can find more information on their resource page here. Thank you.

Hate Crimes and what you can do if you are a victim of a hate crime:

To learn more about what Hate Crimes are and what you can do if you or someone you know is a victim of a hate crime, please see here:

Victims of hate crimes need support on a number of levels, including reestablishing a sense of physical safety and control, being listened to and emotionally validated, and knowing that they are supported by their community. Assistance from their community can help a victim of a hate crime feel less isolated and regain a sense of power and safety.

How to support: Working with hate crime victims

  • Your work as an advocate should be oriented toward helping the crime victim to feel safer and more in control of the situation. Allow crime victims to have plenty of time and opportunities to make informed choices about what they should do. Stress that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel after a crime. Assist the victim in accessing appropriate medical and mental health care and offer to go with the person if an advocate is needed or would provide a feeling of safety.
  • Offer assistance to the hate crime victim in reporting the crime to the police. Hate crime victims may be reluctant to do so for fear of being mistreated by the police. Discuss options with the crime victim, but do not pressure the person to make a report. If the crime victim has also been subject to previous and directly related harassment or crimes, the person should consider reporting those incidents, also. Offer to assist by accompanying them if they would prefer it.
  • Be prepared to do some educational work with the police. Police may be uneducated about some hate crimes and may lack awareness of basic principles of respect towards trans people.
  • Help the victim find ways to feel safe and supported by accessing networks of friends, family, community resources, and culturally competent counselors and crisis services. Community crisis programs may also need transgender education.
  • An advocate may want to call around to community crisis service programs and assess their level of cultural awareness and find out what types of services they provide.
  • Help victims consider whether to speak with the press, and, if they decide to do so, to prepare for interviews and other media contacts. While media attention to a hate crime is often painful for a victim, publicity may help rally the community or locate the perpetrator.
  • Help victims learn about their legal rights and locate legal representation if needed.
  • Assist the victim in connecting with victim’s rights groups and state or federal victim/witness assistance programs. Community activism may not be appropriate for all victims of hate crimes. The extent of community involvement will vary from person to person depending on personality, time, resources and other forms of support that are available. Decisions about reporting the crime and about working with community activists should ultimately be left up to the individual crime victim(s).

Excerpted from: body/documents/lvalenti/InstructionsforRespondingtoHateCrimes.pdf 


Other Resources:

State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General

Stop the Hate

Not in Our Town

Stop AAPI Hate

Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism 

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