CSUMB faculty and administrators rally around AAPI community

Jennifer Kuan, Phuong Nguyen, Angie Tran

Jennifer Kuan, Phuong Nguyen, Angie Tran

November 15, 2021

Since the emergence of COVID-19 from Wuhan City in China — with instigation from the former U.S. president, stoking by online conspiracy theorists, and native racism — Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander discrimination and attacks have increased.

In response, the Building Community Through Dialogue (BCTD) faculty co-op has organized a virtual panel discussion 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29. It’s entitled “Keeping it Real: Affirming the Asian American Community by Building Bridges and Making Connections.” People who want to attend can register online. 

“The goal is to bring community members together on a social issue that concerns them and the wider world, and for CSUMB to take a leadership role in an important conversation,” said Jennifer Kuan, assistant professor in the College of Business.

The keynote speaker is San Francisco State University professor Russell Jeung. He was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2021 for co-founding the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate. They track and share incidents of hate and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., including verbal harassment and racist slurs, to physical assaults, to civil rights violations.

The Nov. 29 event is open to the public and will feature the research of three CSUMB faculty, including Jennifer Kuan, Phuong Nguyen, and Angie Tran. They will participate in a panel discussion with Marina’s mayor pro tem Kathy Biala, and Laurel Lee-Alexander from the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

Vanessa Lopez-Littleton, associate professor and department chair in Health, Human Services and Public Policy, is the host and organizer of the event; and a video address will come from Katherine Kantardjieff, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

The event literature states that the purpose is to “explore the contributions, myths, and recent violence experienced in Asian communities.”

The panelists will also shed light on the recent issues in Asian communities, talk about the work they are doing to build bridges, and will share stories to inform the public and our policies.