The following is a message from AOS President Michael Webster, President-Elect Colleen Handel, and the members of the AOS Diversity & Inclusion Committee, co-chaired by Sharon Gill and Viviana Ruiz Gutierrez.
We write to express the American Ornithological Society’s (AOS’s) solidarity with the many Asian, and Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to condemn the acts of violence that occurred in Atlanta last week. The murders of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and Paul Andre Michels in the Atlanta area are the latest acts of unacceptable anti-Asian racism and xenophobia, which have increased sharply since the beginning of the pandemic, but which also have a long and painful history in the United States and elsewhere. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families directly affected by this horrible act of violence.
At this time, when all of us feel the ongoing stress of the pandemic, members of Asian and AAPI communities and other people of color carry the additional burden of living under the threat of increasing racially motivated violence. The AOS denounces all forms of discrimination, harassment, violence, and xenophobia, as they are antithetical to the mission and values of the AOS.
We deeply value the Asian and AAPI members of our Society and the broader birding community, and recognize that it is incumbent upon our mostly white leaders and members to commit to anti-racist actions. We must see the Asian and AAPI members of our Society in their entirety and be vocal in our support for them. We must be resolute in our work towards a more inclusive and equitable Society with concrete initiatives and intentional actions that lead to systemic change in our organization and in ornithology. Our Society continually seeks to learn from our past, acknowledge mistakes, and work together to foster a richer community that is more welcoming to all.
We encourage non-AAPI members of our community to take this moment in time to reflect, support, and self-educate on the experiences and history of Asians, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders in our country. Racially motivated violence must be called out for what it is and will not and must not be tolerated. In that vein, we offer a list of resources below that members can use for finding support, learning about Asian and AAPI organizations, and better understanding the experiences of Asian and AAPI communities in the United States.
Please share your ideas about how we can help.
Resources & Actions You Can Take Today
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates National Center
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
The Center for Asian Pacific American Women
Anti-Asian Violence Resources
Free Bystander Intervention Training
How to Be an Active Bystander When You See Casual Racism
Ten simple rules for building an antiracist lab
Black and Asian-American Feminist Solidarities: A Reading List
Anti-Asian racism and COVID-19
Anti-Racism Resources for the AAPI Community
Stop AAPI Hate, website for reporting hate incidents
AAPA COVID-19 Related Resources
Asian American Mental Health Collective directory of APISAA therapists