Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

The interactive teach-in follows demands from students and faculty members that the University take greater action against anti-Asian racism.

April 22, 2021

‘Interactive Teach-In’ on Anti-Asian Racism and Bias Scheduled for May 7

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Following the increase in nation-wide violent attacks on the Asian community, the University plans to host an “interactive teach-in” on anti-Asian racism and bias on May 7 from noon to 2 p.m. 

The teach-in was announced in an April 15 statement to the Cornell community from Prof. Wendy Wolford, global development, vice provost for international affairs, and Prof. Avery August Ph.D. ’94, immunology, vice provost for academic affairs and presidential advisor on diversity and equity. 

“Racism in any form, from seemingly benign assumptions to the violent attacks that have occurred across the country, adds to the unequal burdens some shoulder and runs counter to who we are,” the statement read. “It is on each of us to ensure that Asian and AAPI members of our community feel the sense of belonging that we seek for all.”

The teach-in comes on the heels of demands from students and faculty members about how the University can better support the AAPI community and combat anti-Asian racism. 

The University is hosting the teach-in to show solidarity with Cornell’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and express their commitment to address racism in all forms, Wolford wrote in an email to The Sun. 

“We believe that empathy can develop through sharing stories from varied voices,” Wolford wrote. 

The teach-in will include presentations from a variety of students, staff and faculty on the history of different Asian communities in the United States and at Cornell, focusing on the history of racism and discrimination against these communities. Attendees can also expect breakout room sessions to further discuss these topics with other audience members. 

“Participants will be encouraged to talk about their experiences at Cornell and explore different mechanisms for making the university a more inclusive space,” Wolford said. 

Acknowledging the importance of a diverse audience for this teach-in, Wolford said the University is working with students, staff and faculty to draw in as many people as possible.

The statement also linked anti-racism resources created by the Asian American Studies Program and recent calls from Asian American faculty and students demanding institutional change from the University regarding anti-Asian racism. 

“The only way to address racism is together: it is not up to one group to shoulder this alone, so, whether or not you feel that racism impacts you, we hope that you will join us in this reflection and commitment,” the statement read. 

Further information on the teach-in and event registration will be announced closer to the event.