During the past month we watched the news of the murders of six Asian women in Atlanta with horror and sadness. We have all heard of other accounts of anti-Asian racism within our communities over the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a surge of anti-Asian hate crimes. In some areas of Canada there has been an increase of over 700% in anti-Asian hate crimes, and large increases in anti-Asian racism have been seen across the country, with reports of stabbings, assaults, and business property damage. Canada has a long history of anti-Asian racism and hate. This most recent incident is a stark reminder that as we address other systematic inequalities and acts of racial violence within our communities, anti-Asian racism must not be ignored.
We stand in solidarity with the Asian community that has been experiencing an alarming rate of racism in Canada over the past year and has experienced so much hate and trauma throughout Canada’s history. We acknowledge the impacts that racism and violence have on members of our community both professionally and personally and recognize that our STEM institutions are not free of anti-Asian racism.
In light of recent events and the ongoing discrimination being faced by Asian communities we at the CIC and its constituent societies (the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology) are reaffirming our commitment to evaluating our institutional structure and actively incorporating anti-racist policies and practices. We are currently implementing a self-identification survey as part of CCCE 2021 to monitor our own progress towards eliminating barriers and promoting the advancement and inclusion of equity-deserving groups. We plan to expand the use of the self-identification survey in the near future. At the end of this statement, we are including a list of resources and actions to help advocate against anti-Asian racism. We encourage our membership to self-educate and seek other resources to continually practice anti-racism. This must be a long-term and ongoing commitment.
Again, we call on the CIC community to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and join these vital conversations about anti-racism in STEM and beyond. The CIC is committed to becoming a true ally and advocate for all members of marginalized communities and we hope that our community at large will join us in this commitment.
Ways to support the Asian community and the fight against anti-Asian racism in Canada:
- See something, say something:
Report hate crimes through:
Act 2 End Racism
Learn how to be an active bystander.
UBC Really? Campaign
Hollaback! Bystander Resources
- Learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic has increased anti-Asian racism:
Listen to the Voices of the Pandemic podcast
- Learn more about the history of Asian communities and anti-Asian racism in Canada:
Racial segregation of Asian Canadians, The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Shop local Asian owned business and support your local Chinatown
Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice
This list of resources and organizations is by no means exhaustive, so please support and read widely.
Read related statements:
- Statement on anti-Black racism (June 3, 2020): includes a list of actions that you can take to help support underrepresented groups
- Statement of support for diversity in the chemical sciences (June 5, 2020)
- CSC Organic Division response to ACIE editorial (June 8, 2020)