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On Tuesday, March 30, FIU’s Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment and the Asian Studies Program - with the support of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - hosted “I’m Not a Virus: A Teach-In on Anti-Asian / Asian American Racism.” We learned from actor and comedian Margaret Cho and a full panel of activists, scholars and artists about the problem of anti-Asian racism, its history, and what we should do about it.

Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks harassment and violence against Asian Americans, has received nearly 3,000 reports of hate incidents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And according to a study by researchers at Cal State, San Bernardino, hate incidents against Asian Americans increased an alarming 150% during 2020.

And now, shootings that may have been racially motivated, and reports that similar attacks may have been planned in Florida.

The anti-Asian racism emerging around the pandemic is unfortunately just the latest iteration of a much deeper problem. We have to talk about it. We have to listen. And we have to learn.

Poster for the Teach-In. The address for the event will be https://go.fiu.edu/notavirus

Program

"A Buddhist Teaching"
Joy Lidu Yi, Florida International University

Introductory Remarks
Phillip Carter, Florida International University

"No Minority is a #model"
Margaret Cho, actor, comedian, advocate
Actor, stand-up comic and lifelong advocate Margaret Cho shares her experiences with racism on stage and off, and explains why “model minority” stereotypes are so damaging.

Q&A Break for Margaret Cho

"Queering Asian American Violence"
Sean Metzger, University of California, Los Angeles
Drawing on his experience in both social services and higher education, Metzger will discuss the ways in which race, gender, and sexuality intersect in acts of hate. He discusses structural forms of violence that oppress Asian American communities, in particular, and offers critiques of responses that might reinforce the very problems they seek to remedy.

"Nappy Routes & Tangled Tales: A Personal Reflection on Anti-Asian Violence and White Supremacy"
Mitzi Carter, Florida International University
Reflecting on her Black father’s experiences of being racialized in the US South and her mother’s experiences of being Orientalized in militarized landscapes, Carter will trace a few routes of White supremacy and how it has the power to intimately and painfully reverberate across generations.

"Understanding AAPI-Racism through a Freedom Framework"
Mia White, New School
This talk will outline a critical definition of race and will explore the geographic roots of anti-Asian racism, with an introduction of a Freedom Framework based in cross-racial solidarity for a shared future.

"The Shared Stories and Different Experiences of South Asian and Asian Americans"
Cyra Choudhury, Florida International University
Prof. Choudhury will examine how South Asian experiences converge and diverge with those of other AAPI groups by first examining the framing of "Asianness" in the United States and then discussing how South Asians have become part of the broader group experiencing similar exclusions even while having distinct histories.

"Yellow Peril Today & The Deep Ecology of Anglo-Protestant Possessive Colonialist Ideologies”
Jack Tchen, Rutgers University
Professor Tchen traces a critical history of anti-Asian racism in the United States from its roots in colonialism to its inflections today.

"Closing: A Community of Love and Care"
Joanne Li, Florida International University

Discussion and Q&A

This event is co-sponsored by:

  • FIU Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs
  • FIU Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • FIU College of Arts, Sciences & Education
  • FIU College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts
  • FIU Honors College
  • FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work
  • FIU Center for Women's and Gender Studies
  • FIU College of Law
  • FIU College of Business
  • FIU Office to Advance Women, Equity & Diversity
  • Miami-Dade County Asian-American Advisory Board
  • Books & Books
  • Wells Fargo