Statement on Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders 

March 22, 2021

Over the past year, we have witnessed a disturbing increase in hate crimes. Each attack has been fueled by misinformation. Most recently, we have seen a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as a result of false information regarding COVID-19. Racially-motivated violence against any group of people is repugnant. As a Network, we continue to actively oppose all forms of white supremacy culture as a part of our guiding principles for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

As science communication trainers we have a unique role to play to ensure that the facts about COVID-19 are accurately communicated and effectively represented in public discourse. More broadly, we must also maintain a lens of cultural competency in our SciComm training practice; this means remaining open to learning about the history and experiences of others. Below we share a brief list of resources on the history of institutional racism against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders as well as organizations you can support. This list is not exhaustive and is intended to provide a starting place for your learning. 

Resources

Organizations 
Stop AAPI Hate: 
Website: StopAAPIHate.org
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Stop AAPI Hate coalition members: 

Introductory Reading
The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence by Hua Hsu, February 28, 2021, The New Yorker

We hope that you will engage with these organizations and continue your pursuit of SciComm training that centers justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Sincerely, 

The SciComm Trainers Network Board

Elyse Aurbach
Karlisa Callwood 
Suzanne Ffolkes
Eve Klein 
John J. Meyer
Chloe Poston 
Marissa Weiss

 

Statement in Support of Democracy 

January 11, 2021

Last week we watched domestic terrorists attempting to take the U.S. Capitol with shock, uncertainty, anger, fear, and profound sorrow. We are deeply concerned for the safety of everyone affected and contemplate how these events will affect the future of the nation.

At the core of the SciComm Trainers Network is a commitment to supporting effective communication and discussion rooted in facts and evidence. This commitment is critical now more than ever as we are witnessing the impact of misinformation on America. The events of Jan. 6, 2021 demonstrate how the intersection of misinformation with other toxic forces at play in American society – especially white supremacy culture and white nationalism – can form the genesis of violence against our democracy itself.

These events also demonstrate how the power of both inciting language and complicit silence pose grave threats and cause great damage to democracy and our society. As communication trainers – especially as a community that values justice, equity, and the value of every human life – we believe that forceful language and actions to drive forward justice are one part of a rebuttal to last week’s seditious insurrection against the government. 

But forceful language in response to dramatic events isn’t enough. We must recognize the pernicious ways in which white supremacy culture and thinking creeps into our everyday, and act decisively to vanquish it. After all, last week’s insurrection was years in the making, formed step by step as actors with ill intent played on biases to build tolerance and hunger for violence. To counter this, we must be equally diligent in promoting equity and justice every day, especially within our spheres of influence as science communicators.

As a Network, we stand firm in our commitment to center equity and promote evidence-based communication in the service of a fair and just society.

Sincerely, 

The SciComm Trainers Network Board

Elyse Aurbach
Karlisa Callwood 
Suzanne Ffolkes
Eve Klein 
John J. Meyer
Chloe Poston 
Marissa Weiss