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ASF Statement to our Community

(sent June 10, 2020)

Dear ASF, 

We wanted to reach out to you and check in with you during this difficult time, as we watch the daily updates about not only about COVID-19, but also about the fight against systemic racism and police brutality, as people march and demonstrate to make sure their voices are heard. We wanted to pass along the resources that may be helpful to you around allyship, reactions from the Asian American community, actions you can take from wherever you are right now, and also encourage you to sign up for the Brave Spaces conversations being held this week, next week, and beyond (we are seeing amazing demand so far, so we will most likely plan more sessions) to learn more and have conversations with your colleagues about what we as an institution can do to support our community. Attached to this email is a communication sent out by the Asian American Activities Center (A3C) and Asian American Studies faculty last week.

If you need to talk to someone, please feel free to reach out to members of the ASF Board, or utilize the resources available at Stanford – including but not limited to your local HR contact, the Faculty Staff Help Center, or The Office for Religious Life. Please remember – it’s ok to not know how to respond in that moment and it’s ok to say “tell me more.” We don’t always have all the answers, but we can be allies and supportive. 

I want to pass along some insights shared by Mary Foston-English from the Faculty Staff Help Center:

If you are wondering how you can support recent events in America, I encourage you to explore the resources and articles hyperlinked at the bottom of this mail.  If you’re wondering how you can implement general best practices to support an inclusive culture on your teams and in your daily life, I leave you with a few high level considerations:

1.    Stop treating inclusion like a buzz word – Put it into practice.  There is genuine power in perspective. Create safe spaces for those whose voices are historically marginalized. Be prepared to listen and enter conversations with humility.  Ask your own colleagues and staff you support how they're doing with this.
2.    Challenge your biases.  We all have them, whether implicit or explicit. Reflect on how your personal biases impact the way you operate within your professional life and in your interpersonal dynamics outside of work.
3.    Speak Up.  When you see injustice, call it out.  Be a fearless leader in education, business and in your community.
4.    Acknowledge the situation. Topics of race, inequity and injustice are tough especially in a business setting – but these are very real issues that make it difficult for many to ‘show up’ and be ‘present.’ If you work with a person of color – particularly in the US during this sensitive time, ask them how they are doing and acknowledge the reality of the situation.  Don't rationalize!
5.    Find a friend that doesn’t look like you or think like you and nourish that friendship.  Through this relationship, you may find yourself developing a new level of empathy that comes from genuine respect of an individual and their experiences.
6.    Follow suit with what Provost Persis Drell wrote in her email, "Confronting Racial Injustice" on 5/29/20 by sending similar messages to all staff, HR heads, department heads, staff groups, your committees, etc. and/or anyone else you believe it's appropriate to reach out to.

Resources and articles:

Resources specific to the Asian American community:

Resources on how to support your co-workers and other members of the Stanford Community and how to be an ally:

Stanford Community Events Video:

 

- Asian Staff Forum Board.