On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21, 2021) the Zoryan Institute is addressing and condemning the rise in anti-Asian racism since the onset of COVID-19.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was founded as a day to foster a global culture of tolerance, equality, and anti-discrimination. It reminds us that we all have a role to play to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerance.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began over a year ago, incidents of violence, harassment, and racism towards Asian communities across the world have increased exponentially. In Canada, Statistics Canada’s July 2020 report found that “the proportion of visible minority participants (18%) who perceived an increase in the frequency of harassment or attacks based on race, ethnicity or skin colour was three times larger than the proportion among the rest of the population”.  Reporting that it was most prevalent among Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian participants.

Zoryan Institute Board Member and Associate Professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley, Prof. Lok Siu, recently spoke to the New York Times about this rise of anti-Asian racism. We encourage you to read this piece, linked below, as well as use the other resources provided below,  to learn more about speaking out against anti-Asian racism.


“They’re seen as isolated incidents — we don’t see them as part of a systemic form of racism…But it’s built into the structure, and built into the way we think of Asians and the way we insert Asians into society.” 

– Prof. Lok Siu on anti-Asian violence, New York Times, 3/19/21



Prof. Lok Siu on anti-Asian violence, New York Times, 3/19/21


“I think the expression of violence against certain groups and the scapegoating really point to larger existing anxieties and structural issues…these are much broader, bigger questions.”

– Prof. Lok Siu on anti-Asian violence, New York Times, 3/19/21








Prof. Lok Siu on Real Talk, Ryan Jespersen, a Roundtable on Anti-Asian Violence (starts at -1.19)


Prof. Lok Siu on COVID-19 and Anti-Asian Violence.


Chinese Diaspora: Challenges and Possibilities in a Time of Uncertainty Webinar


“A first step toward stopping anti-Asian discrimination and violence, Dr. Siu said, is acknowledging it has long been a part of American history — then working across communities to fight it.”

– Prof. Lok Siu on anti-Asian violence, New York Times, 3/19/21



Fight COVID-19 Racism (Canada): https://www.covidracism.ca/

Stop Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate (USA): https://stopaapihate.org/