SCWIST joins allies in a joint statement on anti-Asian violence

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“In the early days of the pandemic, when assaults started on Asians locally, my daughter and I kept checking our surroundings whenever we would go out. We would keep as far away (more than the recommended 2m) from people. I had been complacent since then, but the tragic act of domestic terrorism in Atlanta has been a shocking reminder of the violence that has been happening against people of Asian descent.”

This excerpt, given by an Asian mother, shows that for the Asian community, and especially Asian women, the difficulties of the pandemic are compounded by fear and worry of attacks rooted in xenophobia and misogyny.

Since the pandemic, these types of attacks have been escalating and increasing. The most recent example of anti-Asian hate has now led to the murder of eight people, six of which were Asian women. In times like these, it is important to reevaluate the steps our communities are taking to ensure that individuals feel safe, welcomed, and supported. We must start by recognizing the impact that an attack like this has on Asian communities. Many individuals have been forced to reconsider the safety of everyday activities such as going on a run or walking to school. Families are having discussions on how to protect themselves, from carrying a long umbrella to buying tasers and bear spray. We must take steps to change and improve our homes, workplaces, and institutions that make these types of conversations unnecessary. We must prioritize voting for policies that protect and support these populations, and encourage a society that supports all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, etc.

The tragedy in Atlanta has shown that despite any progress we have made, attacks rooted in misogyny and white supremacy are still happening. Though this attack happened in Atlanta, the impact can’t be ignored. In Canada, the anti-Asian sentiment has tripled due to the pandemic, notably in metropolitan cities. Only by coming together and recognizing the systemic racism that fuels these attacks, we can make progress towards stopping them completely. This was an unacceptable tragedy, and we stand in solidarity with the Asian community, those affected by the attack, and with all who have suffered from anti-Asian harassment and violence.

In Solidarity,

Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST)
Island Women in Science and Technology (IWIST)
 Immigrant and International Women in Science (IWS)
Student Biotechnology Network
Women in Tech World (WiTWorld)
Women Who Code Vancouver Chapter

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