“Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind” -Donne
Recent events have compelled us as a department to examine and take action against the multifaceted nature of racism in the United States. Racism is dehumanizing to everyone it touches.
Social Work holds a longstanding value of upholding and working toward social justice for all peoples. We are a caring community, welcoming and respecting of diversity and working for social justice on campus and in the world. We must examine racism beyond the actions of individuals, for it is embedded in the very fabric of our society.
We acknowledge that racism can be unconscious or unintentional, and that identifying racism as an issue does not automatically mean those involved in the act are racist or intended the negative impact. As an anti-racism organization we vow to purposefully identify, discuss and challenge issues of race and color and the impact(s) they have on our organization, its systems, and its people. We will also challenge ourselves to understand and correct any inequities we may discover and gain a better understanding of ourselves during this purposeful process.
We are resolved to explicitly and publicly affirm our identity as an anti-racist academic department.
We are resolved that our anti-racism commitment be reflected in the life and culture of the department through our policies, programs and practices as we continue to learn about racism.
We resolve to develop and work to implement strategies that dismantle racism within all aspects of our department, college, university, and society.
We in the Department of Social Work at the University of New Hampshire are grateful for the NYC NASW chapter for making a strong statement against Xenophobia and Sinophobia. We share this statement below in our effort to stand with our Asian American colleagues, friends, family, staff, and students.
From: NASW-NYC Statement on Xenophobia and Sinophobia Surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.naswnyc.org/resource/resmgr/statements_and_important_news/2020/COVID-19_Xenophobia.pdf
- “These uncertain times can create the exchange of misinformation rooted in fear, stigma, and scapegoating. From microaggressions to hate crimes, [The UNH Department of Social Work] recognizes and strongly condemns these acts of violence and spreading of false rhetoric towards our friends, family, colleagues and loved ones of Asian descent” We are dispirited by the current narrative carried out by the media and individuals against those of Asian descent in relation to this very serious disease, particularly when it furthers xenophobic and oppressive agendas under the guise of public health and safety concern
- As Margaret Chin, who is a member of the New York City Council, stated, “discrimination against any particular group is unjustifiable” and “facts are our best defense”; and as NBC News noted in a recent article, “Jewish communities were targeted during the bubonic plague in the 1300s. Irish immigrants were blamed for typhoid in the 1800s, Haitian Americans were thought to be responsible for HIV in 1980s, Mexican Americans for swine flu in 2009, and West Africans for Ebola in 2014.” Attributing outbreaks to marginalized groups has historically been the pattern but now is the time to challenge conformity and be the exception”
The Department of Social Work at the University of New Hampshire strongly supports this statement and we ask that everyone within the UNH community and beyond, call out this false and misleading rhetoric and stand in support of our Asian and Asian American community members.
The Committee on Ethnicity, Race and Gender Equity (CERGE) and the Department of Social Work at the University of New Hampshire