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ZOOM TEACH IN: Anti-Asian Xenophobia in an Age of Covid-19

May 29, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm  |  


Anti-Chinese xenophobia inaugurated the United States as a gatekeeping nation in the late nineteenth century. Figured as dangerous to the public health, the Chinese—and successive Asian migrants—were likened to an invasive disease and subjected not only to exclusion laws but also to white vigilante violence. In this era of pandemic, a moment conditioned by phobia about China’s global rise, xenophobic conspiracy theories about the “Chinese virus” abound. China has been placed in the crosshairs of the media and politicians, and Asians and people of Asian descent have been targeted on social media and subjected to acts of violence. From mid-March to mid-April of this year, the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center received almost 1,500 reports of anti-Asian coronavirus discrimination in the United States against people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Filipino, Hmong, Thai, Lao, and Cambodian ethnicity.


This teach-in will be led by two founders of the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center. Russell Jeung, chair of Asian American Studies at SF State, will offer a long historical view of anti-Asian racism and brutality, and Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, will address the data the reporting center has gathered in the past two months. In a moment in which we are witness to the slide between anti-Asian rhetoric and anti-Asian brutality, how should hate speech be understood? Given the necessity of social distancing, what kinds of community process around racial harm can we envision and bring into being?

Russell Jeung is Professor of Asian American Studies at SF State University. A scholar of race and religion, he’s written At Home in Exile: Finding Jesus Among Ancestors and Family Sacrifices: The Worldviews and Ethics of Chinese Americans. With Chinese for Affirmative Action and the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, he helped to establish the Stop AAPI Hate center.

Cynthia Choi is Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a community-based civil rights organization based in San Francisco. CAA partnered to establish Stop AAPI Hate, an online reporting center dedicated to documenting hate incidents and developing community-based solutions. She has led local, state, and national community-based organizations working on a range of issues from reproductive justice, gender-based violence, immigrant/refugee rights, and environmental justice issues in both the nonprofit sector and in philanthropy.

Presented by The Center for Racial Justice. Co-sponsored by the SUA Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center, and the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion.

Resources: You can find Stop AAPI Hate’s latest report here and the quick guides, “Five Things to Consider When You’re Experiencing Hate” and “Five Things to Do When You’re Witnessing Hate,” here.

For more information, please contact Christine Hong at


May 29, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm