Responding to Anti-Asian Racism & COVID-19

March 22, 2021: Statement of Solidarity Against Anti-Asian Violence | Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program 

The AADS community has released a statement condemning Anti-Asian violence and racism. Please read the document here:

March 17, 2021: A Response to the Shooting in Atlanta | Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program 

The AADS community stands in solidarity with the victims of the shooting in Atlanta last night. We have released a statement which you can find here:

March 27, 2020: Statement of Solidarity and Support Against Anti-Asian Racism and Violence | Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program   

As the novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to spread in these unsettled times, the staff and faculty of Duke’s Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program (AADS) renew our commitment to fostering an environment of mutual support and advocacy despite the social and physical distance between us now. Wherever you may be sheltering, on campus or away, we hope that you and your loved ones are weathering these uncertain times and are practicing self-care, mutual support and compassion. As educators, we are committed to supporting your learning and teaching goals in creative ways while mediated through technology and physical distance. Here is a community-initiated open-source syllabus for teaching and sharing resources on this topic. We acknowledge that just as frightening as the spread of the Coronavirus, is the concerning rise of anti-Asian and particularly anti-Chinese harassment and violence both online and physical in the U.S. and around the globe. This current trend shows how fear and xenophobia have been used to justify racist sentiments and actions against people of Asian descent. Such aggressions are not new and are embedded in a long history of anti-Asian violence in the US and elsewhere.

As a program dedicated to teaching about and fighting the unequal dynamics of race and ethnicity within the U.S. and within structures of transnational movements and dislocations of people, Duke’s Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program strongly condemns racism and hate toward all people, and we stand in solidarity with those who are being viciously targeted today. We advocate for a critical understanding of how ideas about race and racial difference take shape over time with the larger goal of exposing and dismantling such racist beliefs and attacks. We oppose expressions of fear and anxiety of COVID-19 manifest as hate toward Asian people and people of Asian descent and urge the Duke community and others to stand with us against these cowardly acts of violence. Duke’s Office for Institutional Equity is one local resource for assistance and reporting for those who have experienced discrimination or harassment based upon race, national origin or other protected categories of identity, at 919-684-8222, or STOP AAPI HATE and Asian Americans Advancing Justice are national reporting sites. Other resources are available at our partner organization NCAAT. AADS will continue to update our program site with local and national resources for addressing these concerns. Please share these and other available resources to help those who have been the target of inflammatory racist rhetoric and violence.

Duke University Resources for Responding to COVID-19 & Anti-Asian Harassment

Duke University also offers many counseling options for remote care for all students, as well as coordination of resources from a student's local community. If you find yourself or a fellow Duke student struggling with the situation, please make sure to take advantage of Duke's resources, which can be found and contacted below.

Other Resources for Responding to COVID-19 & Anti-Asian Harassment

For immediate response during harassment:

  • Consider downloading personal safety apps such as NoonlightSafezone, and Bsafe that are able to assign a virtual guardian, location tracking, fake phone calls, and quickly contact authorities in the case that you experience harassment
  • Ask for a friend to stay on the phone with you if entering a dangerous situation

Resources for legal advice or assistance with racial discrimination:

Other resources

  • #IAmNotAVirus: an online collection of portraits of Asian American volunteers responding to the xenophobia of the Coronavirus outbreak
  • #WashTheHate: an online campaign that recounts stories of Asian American discrimination while hand-washing to condemn anti-Asian bullying and to promote necessary hygiene during the outbreak

In this uncertain time, the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease may also be a cause of general stress and anxiety. In order to ensure your own well-being, as well as that of your loved ones, AADS recommends coping with the stress by regularly engaging in healthy emotional and physical behaviors. Some advice on how to maintain healthy routines is provided below:


  • Maintain social distancing policies by putting at least six feet between yourself and another person
  • Regularly cleanse your hands using soap or water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Cover coughs and sneezes sufficiently
  • Avoid touching your hands to your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Self-isolate if you experience any symptoms of Covid-19 (dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches)
  • Stay updated on national and local news regarding any changes to living and traveling conditions
  • Follow guidelines and respect your local stay-at-home and quarantine orders


  • Stay connected and engaged with friends and family while maintaining social distancing
  • Eat well-balanced meals, get a sufficient amount of sleep, and exercise regularly
  • Avoid overwhelming yourself with pandemic news
  • Find time to engage in activities and hobbies that interest you

As the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease has warranted such big changes in the daily lives of many, additional advice on how to cope with the daily changing situation has been linked below.