Statement on COVID-19-Related Anti-Asian Discrimination

As our diverse communities pull together in a spirit of unity to combat the spread and the inequitable consequences of the novel coronavirus, we acknowledge with dismay that some of our friends, neighbors, colleagues and students have been traumatized by direct or indirect acts of bias, discrimination and stigma on the basis of their perceived identity as persons of Asian descent. These acts, which can range from staring, shunning or derisive comments to outright physical assault (including deliberate coughing or spitting), have no place in our society. As public health professionals, we understand all too well the many ways racism and discrimination can harm health. These may be direct impacts such as physiologically-mediated stress effects, or indirect ones such as discouraging people from accessing needed care and services.

We as members of the UIC Public Health community pledge to work together to combat all forms of racism, discrimination and harassment. We must be mindful that any comments, even those meant in humor, that use stereotyping language to describe or discuss COVID-19 and its connection with China can be extremely hurtful. It is our collective responsibility to model appropriate behavior (such as using the terms “novel coronavirus” or “COVID-19” rather than “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus”, and encouraging others to do so), to speak up when witnessing stigmatizing actions or demeaning comments about Chinese culture, to report instances of bias or discrimination so that they can be monitored and responded to, and to offer support and solidarity for each other in these trying times.

If you are a member of the UIC SPH community and experience or witness biased or discriminatory acts, please feel free to report them to the SPH Student Affairs Office, the SPH Human Resources office, the campus Office of Access and Equity and/or any trusted person in a position of authority at SPH.  Note that UIC has also developed a discrimination/bias reporting form for your use.  You are welcome and encouraged to use multiple channels for reporting. Working together, we can defeat threats to our health and well-being, whether those threats are biological or social/structural in nature.

Where to report biased or discriminatory acts

UIC Bias Reporting Form

Signatures

  • Wayne Giles, Dean
  • Nadine Peacock, Associate Dean, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Susan Altfeld, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
  • Supriya Mehta, Associate Dean, Global Health Program
  • Jeni Hebert-Beirne, Associate Dean, Community Engagement/Collaboratory for Health Justice
  • Karin Opacich, Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Public Health
  • John Slavick, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs
  • Kaye Oberhausen, Assistant Dean, Advancement
  • Arden Handler, Division Director, Community Health Sciences (CHS)
  • Lorraine Conroy, Division Director, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS)
  • Ron Hershow, Division Director, Epidemiology and Biostatistics (EPI-BIO)
  • Lisa Powell, Division Director, Health Policy and Administration (HPA)
  • Alyson Lofthouse, Senior Associate Director, Global Health Program
  • Robin Buell Sylvester, Director, Research Services
  • Frank Cervone, Executive Director, Information Services
  • Kamil Czarnowski, Director, Human Resources
  • Sara Giloth, Director, Donor Relations
  • Christina Brown, Director, Director Development
  • Rob Schroeder, Director, Communications and Marketing