Dance/USA Condemns Racially Targeted Violence and Discrimination Against the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2021

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

Last Tuesday our nation witnessed another act of unspeakable violence. 

Violence that silenced eight lives, seven of whom were women, six of whom were of Asian descent.

We, at Dance/USA, are aggrieved by the ongoing harm perpetuated across the nation against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and we are distraught by how the recent attack led to yet another act of racialized misogyny. 

If one of us is not safe and protected, none of us are safe and protected. 

Dance/USA is in solidarity with the AAPI community and we support our fellow AAPI colleagues, Trustees, and allies within the Dance/USA member community and dance ecosystem. We know members of the dance community are experiencing fear and anxiety. We see you. We hear you. We are here for you.

We grieve for the lives of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng. 

We will say their names to honor their lives.

According to Stop AAPI Hate, there have been at least 3,795 incidents targeting Asian Americans since March 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This sharp rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, xenophobia, sustained acts of discrimination, and gender violence is intolerable. The continued tolerance of white supremacy culture must come to an end.

Ways to Take Action

  • Review Anti-Racist Resources from AAAJ including Anti-Hate Community Resources and Resources to Document and Address Hate. Find the resources here. 
  • Check in with your AAPI identifying colleagues and friends.
  • Take a Bystander Intervention or Conflict De-Escalation Workshop. Find the information here.
  • Learn about Bystander Intervention using Hollaback’s Guide. Find the information here. 
  • Support AAPI and BIPOC owned businesses in your community. 
  • Learn about the “Model Minority Myth” from Learning for Justice. Find the resources here. 
  • Continue having open conversations about white supremacy culture and identify at least one characteristic you and/or your organization will dismantle. 
  • Read It’s Time for Philanthropy to Address Its Erasure of AAPI Voices and Perspectives from the Center for Effective Philanthropy.
  • Share the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center We Are Not a Stereotype Video Series with the young people and educators in your network. Find the videos and resources here. 
  • Engage with your federal and state elected officials to support legislation that supports and protects the AAPI community and other racial and cultural groups from hate crimes and other discriminatory practices. 
  • Register to vote and vote for candidates willing to make a difference.

Dance/USA is committed to continuing to educate ourselves and deepening our connections so that we can more fully embody our mission to champion an inclusive and equitable dance field for all. The healing work toward becoming better allies for AAPI, BIPOC, Disabled, LGBTQ+, and other historically marginalized members of our community is ongoing, and we will continue to engage our membership in these conversations.

Dance/USA Affirms our Vision, Mission, and Values
At Dance/USA, we are propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, and we work to champion an inclusive and equitable world. 

We value creativity, as creativity inspires change. Dance/USA celebrates our nation’s creative capacity and artistry to imagine and build a world we have never encountered and deeply desire. 

We value equity. Through the lens of equity, Dance/USA strives to remove the boundaries erected by a legacy of racism, classism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, gender bias, and xenophobia and we work to dismantle institutional and systemic oppression that attack the dance field’s progress, impede the creation of work, and negatively impact dance audiences and communities. We value connectivity. As Dance/USA strives to be a catalytic network enlivened by connection, community, and collaboration. We value calling people in as a practice of leading, listening, learning, and deepening our impact.

About Dance/USA
Propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, Dance/USA will amplify the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive.

Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation. Learn more about Dance/USA at danceusa.org