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This is not just a moment. It’s a Movement. Statement from Dr. Shealey, Senior Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

As President Houshmand and I shared in our earlier message titled Another Step Toward Equity and Justice, “…we are called to better understand our world and make possible a better life in it. Knowledge is not enough to solve problems. Action—even the seemingly smallest gesture on behalf of the marginalized—proves our character.”

On Tuesday, we watched a jury convict former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. For many this moment may be bittersweet in that we finally witness accountability for police officers who betray their oath to protect and serve. Yet, George Floyd is no longer with us and his family and friends will forever be changed by his murder.

Where do we go from here? The verdict in the Derek Chauvin case may bring a sense of relief, sadness, and hope. Yet, what this verdict should represent is the beginning of a movement that results in racial equity and justice for all Americans and accountability in policing.

In 2019, we launched the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to lead and support initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion by developing and sustaining meaningful and collaborative relationships that result in a more diverse and inclusive community and centering the voices of our community to drive university-wide culturally sustaining initiatives and equitable opportunities. 

An example of our commitment to center the voices of our communities is the Law Enforcement and Community Collaborative (LECC). The LECC, created last year, has a mission to bring together the Rowan community with local law enforcement professionals to address the following strategic priorities: develop professional development for law enforcement rooted in a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; identify and disseminate evidence-based practices that facilitate meaningful engagement with diverse communities; and develop an infrastructure to research, grants and program evaluation for LECC members and the broader community. 

Conveners of the priority subcommittees include: Scott Thomson, former Chief, Camden County Police; Ryan Knight, Deputy Chief, Glassboro Police; Kevin Brown, Pastor, The Perfecting Church; and Evan Sorg, Assistant Professor, Law and Justice Studies.

We invite all of you to join us by participating in professional development opportunities and community collaborative spaces such as the LECC. For more information, check out our website at www.rowan.edu/dei or contact us at dei@rowan.edu.

*An image of a statement on a white background with a gold border with the above text. The Rowan University logo with the Rowan torch is located at the bottom

DEI Council Meeting Summary 4/1/2021

Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

DEI Council Meeting Summary April 1, 2021

DEI Updates

Law Enforcement and Community Collaborative

  • There are 3 subcommittees consisting of (1) Professional Development: Chair Scott Thomson – former Camden County Chief of Police and Co-Chair Deputy Chief Ryan Knight (2) Community Engagement – Kevin Brown, Chair, The Perfecting Church (3) Research and Grants – Evan Sorg, Chair
  • If you are interested in serving on a subcommittee or have a student who is interested in serving, please contact shealey@rowan.edu and/or gunn@rowan.edu

Neurodiversity Task Force Update

  • The Taskforce submitted White Paper last year, which identified 3 areas to be addressed at Rowan, including (1) Scorecard – measuring the quality of services being provided (2) Integration and collaboration with RCs and Medical Schools (3) Inclusive Pedagogy and Practices
  • The Inclusive Pedagogy and Practices Certificate launched February 2021. As a reminder, in order to participate in the IPP Certificate, you must complete the DEI Certificate.

New Task Force Update: Anti-Racism Pedagogy and Practices

  • Description: The Taskforce will bring together faculty and students who will work collaboratively with faculty colleagues across the institution and the Strategic Action Planning Committee on the DEI Council to develop a framework tool that departments may use in examining curriculum through an anti-racist lens. The taskforce will also be instrumental in developing a certificate program for faculty focused on anti-racist and emancipatory pedagogy and practices. The work of the Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Practices Taskforce is aligned to the vision and mission of the Division of DEI and the following strategic priorities: creating an equitable and inclusive campus community, recruiting and retaining diverse students, and promoting and supporting inclusive scholarship and professional development.
  • Focused on identifying research base for anti-racist pedagogy and practices, emancipatory teaching, working with faculty across all 3 campuses to review curriculum through an anti-racist lens
  • Goal is to develop a series of professional development opportunities focused on antiracist pedagogy. These efforts have been driven by student requests, faculty will be leading this work, and students will also be working on co-constructing this work.
  • If you are interested in serving on this Task Force, please notify gunn@rowan.edu, the first meeting will take place in the next few weeks.

DEI Faculty Fellow Provost Position

  • DEI is looking for a tenured faculty member to assist with DEI work, professional development, and admissions to develop a cadre of faculty who are focused on recruiting and retaining diverse students
  • If you or someone you know is interested in this position, please contact shealey@rowan.edu and/or mcphersonp@rowan.edu
  • The position comes with course relief and summer pay

Strategic Priority Committee (SPC) Updates

SPC1 – Creating a more inclusive and equitable campus community

  • Steven Fleming and Patricia Fortunato joined as chairs and will continue working on the DEI blog, with a focus on content creation from Rowa community
  • SPC1 is looking to support student groups, particularly those that are for and led
  • by underrepresented groups, therefore, they are looking for more student participants on committee
  • The group will be conducting survey to help identify more areas of focus to inform which subcommittees should be formed with the SPC1
  • Supporting Division of DEI with INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award award application

SPC2 – Recruiting, retaining and supporting a more diverse campus community

  • Workshop on linguistic justice is being developed, which is ready to pilot and will request feedback from participants
  • Reviewing data on academic dismissal, dismissal appeals, applications for readmission, etc. to determine how it disproportionately affects students based on race and ethnicity, first generation status, etc.
  • Focused on student employment equity – looking for a place for all jobs to be posted
  • Plan to begin looking at conduct issues on campus – review data related to discipline to determine if there are any equity issues on campus

SPC3 – Promoting and Supporting Inclusive Teaching, Scholarship and Professional Development

  • Prepping for Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Practices Task Force
  • Student evaluations subcommittee – examining the way Rowan uses and potentially misuses student evaluations in tenure and recontracting decisions, looking at how questions work, drafting a statement to set the climate for students completing the evaluation to address implicit and explicit biases, and identify anything problematic about the current tool
  • Targeted harassment response – looking at the response to harassment by groups both internal and external to Rowan, looking to craft language so there is a reporting and response protocol

DEI Department Updates

ASCEND AND CHAMP

  • Planning for virtual programming this summer for CHAMP and Upward
  • Bound
  • 138 ASCEND students graduating this year
  • LaunchPad set to kick off Fall 2021, highlights programs already in place and provide pipeline opportunities, including dual credit and pre-health pathway

OSEC

  • Approximately 20 participants in Advisor training recently
  • Reminder – please take complete the Not Anymore employee training, there has been a slight increase in participation rate, but goal is 100% compliance and currently only at 64%.. Also encourage students to complete Not Anymore training, specifically, sophomores and
  • first year graduate students.
  • Student Title IX Summit is taking place April 23- https://sites.rowan.edu/diversity-equityinclusion/departments/osec/titleix/t9-summit.html

SJICR

  • Closing out Women’s History Month, thank you to everyone who participated in Feminist Activist Symposium
  • In the data collection phase for Flack program and other leadership programs, leading into final focus groups
  • SJICR helped to host the 1 in 5 performance, 74 attendees at live even, view the event here: https://youtu.be/Lekco_sndRk
  • Attend Pride and APIDA Heritage Month events – https://sites.rowan.edu/sjicr/pridemonthevents.html
  • Lela Lee will be speaking April 21st – register to attend at https://linktr.ee/sjicr
  • Getting ready for commencement celebrations for SJICR students, also supporting students with burnout
  • Interfaith and Spiritual Exploration Center – (1) Interfaith Council has been meeting regularly
  • (2) Roxie has met with some student leaders in religious groups (3) Ramadan starting April 13, be aware that some students might be fasting throughout the day, will be lasting 33 days this year (4) Can view the intercultural and interfaith calendar here: https://sites.rowan.edu/sjicr/culturalcalendar.html

SOM

  • In-person accreditation visit coming up
  • The vaccination clinic is going well, also hosting mobile clinics to vaccinate homeless population, in April and May. There are also Saturday clinics for people who are undocumented

CMSRU

  • Accreditation cycle took place last week, will hear back in 4 – 6 weeks with preliminary
  • report,and final report in June
  • Medical education grand rounds took place, which included a presentation on Covid-19 and health disparities
  • Preparing for summer programs

Professional Development

White Rage: Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide, Carol Anderson

DEI Faculty Spotlight: Marketing Professor focuses on distance education technology and underrepresented students

Dr. Manuel Pontes, Professor in the Department of Marketing

pontes@rowan.edu

Tell us about the DEI research that you are doing:

I currently engage in several streams of research that are related to diversity, equity and inclusion. My primary research interests are distance education in higher education and the relationship between health insurance, and family income on health care consumption. Specifically, my research paper, “Distance Education Enrollment is Associated with Greater Academic Progress Among First Generation Low-Income Undergraduate Students in the US in 2008” was published in 2012 and has been cited 20 times to date.

What made you want to undertake this work?

I am very interested in the use of technology for education. As well as interested in reducing the disparity of college graduation rates by income and race/ethnicity for students.

Why would our students at Rowan University be interested in this work?

I use distance education technology and the principles of universal design to reduce barriers to course completion. Consider for example a student who is sick (say with COVID) and missed work and school for 10 days.  When they are finally well, they have a dilemma – work extra hours to make up for financial shortfall or work extra on school work to catch up on missed assignments. Students from affluent families can ask parents for financial assistance, whereas students from poor families (disproportionately underrepresented minorities) are faced with hardships, which may result in poorer grades for them. I use distance education tests to create greater time flexibility for students so it is easier for them to catch up! This had greatly improved grades for students with health issues, including mental health.


Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your work?

I am glad that my research directly influences my teaching, this is an important goal. Specifically,
I am very glad that I can improve learning outcomes for minoritized and low-income students. I would also welcome students (particularly underrepresented minority students) who wish to work on research on measures to improve student retention. I currently am working on projects which use longitudinal data from the US Department of Education to achieve these goals.

DEI Prof-Spectives: Addressing Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Discrimination and Violence

Written by DEI in collaboration with Patricia Fortunato, Content Manager/Program Manager at the NeuroMusculoskeletal Institute — Rowan Medicine

fortun83@rowan.edu

The past several years—and longer—have been traumatizing and exhausting for many Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and the past several days in particular have been such for many BIPOC who identify as Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI). Women, femme people, trans people, those who are undocumented, those who are working survival jobs, and other marginalized identities intersecting with AAPI identities may be feeling particularly affected. The United States’ longstanding ignorance concerning discrimination against BIPOC, particularly Black, Indigenous, and women of color (BIWOC) and AAPI women and other marginalized intersecting identities, has resulted in a series of violent murders wherein eight people including six Asian women (of which four victims were of Korean descent) were murdered by a white male. We mourn with the victims’ loved ones and remember their names: Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Suncha Kim, 69; Delaina Ashley Yaun González, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; and Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, who was seriously injured and survived.

*The Asian American Journalists Association developed a video pronunciation guide with native speakers of Mandarin and Korean, to support journalists and the general public with accurate pronunciations of the Chinese- and Korean-language names of the six victims who were of Asian descent.

Our fear and exhaustion give way to a resounding frustration knowing that recently, discrimination against Asian and Asian American people can be traced to the start of the COVID–19 pandemic, when former President Donald J. Trump propagated rising discrimination and violence against AAPI through the use of terms breeding disinformation such as “China virus” and “Chinese virus” and continued blame of the spread of COVID–19 on China, Asia, and people of Chinese and Asian descent in general.

As incidents of discrimination and violence increased during the pandemic, San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department, in partnership with the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council and the organization Chinese for Affirmative Action, launched the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center on March 19, 2020. The Center has been tracking incidents nationally since the start of the pandemic, and as of February 28, 2021, has tracked 3,795 incidents including and not limited to verbal harassment, physical assault, and civil rights violations. The majority of these incidents have targeted women, with women reporting hate incidents 2.3 times more than men, and people of Chinese descent as the largest ethnic group reporting experiencing hate at 42.2% followed by people of Korean descent at 14.8%.

Similarly, California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism released data earlier this month that revealed hate crimes against Asian American people increased nationally from 49 reported crimes in 2019 to 122 reported crimes in 2020, resulting in a 149% increase despite hate crimes decreasing 7% overall during the same timeframe. The Center’s report also reveals that Google searches for racist terms including and not limited to “China virus” and “Kung flu” increased dramatically throughout 2020.

It is critical to note that these numbers are likely a small subset of discriminatory incidents and hate crimes against AAPI, as there exist many barriers to disclosing and reporting. These barriers include and are not limited to trauma, stigma, language barriers, immigration status, and mistrust of the justice system. Given the Atlanta perpetrator’s statement to investigators, it is also critical to recognize the dehumanization of AAPI women that exists in our nation, including hypersexualization and fetishization, and note its linkage to colonialism in Asian countries and stereotypes that exist and are perpetuated in schools, workplaces, and social situations.

Korean American author R.O. Kwon wrote a powerful letter to fellow Asian women for Vanity Fair, excerpted below.

“Some of these failures have come from the people closest to us. So many white friends, family members, colleagues, partners, in-law relatives, and teachers have brushed away, minimized, or entirely ignored our growing alarm. One of the first white men with whom I brought up rising anti-Asian racism replied by asking if this racism was really even happening. I had just told him it was. The silences this week ring loud, in the texts we haven’t received, in the absences on social media, as the people who say they deeply love us, who have heard us talk about this, fail to wonder if we’re okay, fail to see if in this time of great collective sorrow it might be a good time to offer us some of that love.

. . .

It hurts. It all hurts. Still and always, hypersexualized, ignored, gaslit, marginalized, and disrespected as we’ve been, I am so fortified, so alive, when I’m with us. And I am thankful to the many other people, especially our Black and brown siblings who live with systemic injustice, unending police violence, and profound marginalization, who know to extend us their love, along with at least some white people. Recently, I was talking with a close friend, the writer Ingrid Rojas Contreras, about some of the complications of our lives as women of color, and she said, in a moment that felt like a cloud breaking, like clarity, ‘We matter to me.’ You matter to me, we matter to me, and I would so much rather have us and our allies on our side than any of them. For we already belong.”

Addressing the pandemic-related rise in AAPI discrimination and violence, five days prior to the tragedies in Atlanta, Congresswoman Grace Meng and Senator Mazie K. Hirono introduced legislation to combat the issues, this being in addition to Senator Hirono’s previously introduced legislation addressing issues surrounding immigration status and lack of medical care. The COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act would assign a point person employee in the U.S. Department of Justice to expedite the review of violence and hate crimes related to the pandemic and targeted at AAPI, and the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act would support immigrant communities regardless of immigration status, including and not limited to modifying policies, ensuring that everyone regardless of lack of medical insurance has access to COVID–19 testing, treatment, and vaccinations, and funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide multilingual access and public outreach for people with limited English proficiencies and those with disabilities.

Furthermore, on March 31, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., announced new actions to address anti-Asian violence, xenophobia, and bias, also recognizing the violence and xenophobia perpetrated against Asian American women and girls. Actions to respond to the increasing anti-Asian violence, and to protect and advance safety, inclusion, and belonging for all AAPI, expound upon the President’s Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States issued upon his first week in office. The President has called upon Congress to pass the aforementioned COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act, and has installed a diverse Administration wherein 15 percent of all appointees identify as AAPI, recognizing the importance of representation for AAPI women, girls, and all who identify as the racial group in the nation. New actions announced on March 31, 2021 include the following critical steps.

The President will reinstate and reinvigorate the White House Initiative on AAPI with initial focus on anti-Asian bias and violence, particularly at the intersection of gender-based violence. The initiative will have a mandate to expand and promote inclusion, belonging, and opportunity for all AAPI communities. The President will also appoint a permanent Director to lead the charge in coordination of policies across the Federal Government.

The President will designate funding for AAPI survivors of intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and sexual assault, with the Department of Health and Human Services allocating $49.5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to a new grant for culturally relevant and specific programs for survivors of intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and sexual assault who may struggle with further barriers to lifesaving services and a continuum of care, including language barriers.

The President will establish a COVID–19 Equity Task Force committee on ending xenophobia against Asian Americans, expanding on his Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery on January 21, 2021. To execute this critical work for Asian Americans, the Task Force has established a subcommittee on Structural Drivers of Health Inequity and Xenophobia and will provide recommendations to ensure the Federal Government’s response to the pandemic effectively mitigates anti-Asian bias and xenophobia per the President’s Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The subcommittee will also advance health equity for specific AAPI communities who have been disproportionately infected by and died from COVID–19, leading “policy sprints” for advancing cultural competency and inclusion for all AAPI.

The President has established and will continue a Department of Justice “whole agency” initiative to effectively address anti-Asian violence. Actions to date include the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division re-convening of the Department’s Hate Crimes Enforcement and Prevention Initiative focused on increased hate crimes against AAPI; the Federal Bureau of Investigation working to publish an imminent hate crimes page on its Crime Data Explorer website, highlighting reports of anti-Asian crimes and supporting researchers and communities as they seek to measure national statistics, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation integrating scenario-based training on anti-Asian bias and hate crimes for all state and local partners; the Department of Justice removing language barriers on its hate crimes website and ensuring information is accessible in the languages of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese; the Department of Justice partnering with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association on a discussion with its 50,000 members focused on improving responses to anti-Asian hate incidents; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s efforts to begin providing nationwide civil rights trainings on recognizing and reporting anti-Asian bias and hate crimes.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has launched a virtual library of federally-funded projects that celebrate Asian Americans’ contributions and commitment to the U.S., with resources for families, civic leaders, educators, and arts and humanities organizations to explore the diversity of Asian American history, and address the history of and ongoing anti-Asian discrimination and racism in the nation.

The National Science Foundation is presently supporting more than $33 million across 100 national grants, with diverse investigators advancing research and innovation to effectively reduce discrimination experienced by historically underrepresented groups, and reduce targeting of, harm, and violence towards historically underrepresented communities and individuals including AAPI.

Together as a University community, within DEI and across campuses, we will continue to do the work that is rooted in anti-discrimination and anti-racism. We will work to address the emotional impact that the pandemic and its related incidents of discrimination, violence, and hate crimes have had on students, faculty, staff, and larger communities who identify as AAPI. Below please find information and resources for those who identify as AAPI, for individuals working towards allyship, and for health care professionals seeking to understand the issues and provide culturally competent care.

Please share the above visual on social media via go.rowan.edu/deiaapisocial21

Terms: 

Asia: Asia is the world’s largest and most densely populated continent. Be aware of the differences in geographical areas: North Asia (Russia), Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), Western Asia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Sinai Peninsula, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen), South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), East Asia (China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan), and Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor, Vietnam).

Asian: The term “Asian” concerns the people, culture, and customs related to the continent of Asia. The term “oriental” is offensive and should not be used as a synonym.

BIPOC: “BIPOC” is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. The term acknowledges how violence against Black and Indigenous people is foundational to the U.S., as the founding and expansion of this country relied on slavery and genocide. The term also blurs the differences between the two groups it is meant to center, as belonging as a “member” of each group is and historically has been different—with the one-drop rule of antebellum and Jim Crow South assigning anyone with as much as “one drop” of Black heritage to automatically be considered Black, but requiring those of Indigenous heritage to prove they have “enough” Indigenous heritage to belong to the group. 

BIWOC: “BIWOC” is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and women of color.

Cultural Appropriation: Taking and benefiting from the expression, ideas, artifacts, etc. of another culture without permission, often done by the dominant culture. This is not a cultural exchange, which requires mutual consent and respect.

Desi: “Desi” is an evolving term used to describe the people, cultures, and products of the Indian subcontinent and their diaspora to describe their unique experiences and to address colorism within the Asian community.

Immigrant: An immigrant is a person who moves to another country, usually for permanent residence. They may or may not be citizens. The terms “foreigner,” “illegal immigrant,” and “alien” are offensive and should not be used as synonyms.

Institutional Racism: The ways in which the structures, systems, policies, and procedures of institutions are founded upon and then promote, reproduce, and perpetuate advantages for the dominant group and the oppression of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.

International: The appropriate term to use for students who obtain a non-immigrant visa such as a student visa or an exchange visitor visa.

Intersectionality: A theoretical concept describing the interconnection of oppressive institutions and identities.

Misogyny and Trans-Misogyny: Misogyny is a general hatred and hostility towards women. Trans-misogyny is the same hatred, targeted at trans-feminine people.

Person of Color, or People of Color: “Person of Color” and “People of Color” are umbrella terms for anyone who is non-white. The use of the term “colored” is offensive and should not be used as a synonym. The terms “ethnic” and “urban” also have negative undertones and likewise, should not be used as synonyms.

Racism: Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed toward someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of society, and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices. 

Refugee: A refugee is a person forced to flee their country due to violence or persecution. The term “migrant” may be offensive in some contexts.

Sexism: A system of beliefs or attitudes which regulates women to limited roles and/or options because of their sex. It centers on the idea that women are inferior to men.

Victim Blaming: Victim blaming occurs when victims/survivors are silenced, shamed, and/or held responsible, even partially, for a crime. It is critically important to affirm victims/survivors and avoid statements including and not limited to, “Don’t think about it,” “Why didn’t you leave?,” and “Why didn’t you fight back?”

Xenophobia: A fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners.

Coping Strategies for AAPI Identities:

1. Unapologetically allow yourself to take time and make space for grief during this difficult time

You do not need permission to feel fear, sadness, grief, anger, and/or numbness. You may find yourself feeling “guilty” for not responding to social media messages, etc., in a timely manner. However, your psychological safety and emotional wellbeing, which may include a period of rest, is priority. Know that everyone reacts to tragedy and trauma in different ways. When you are feeling safe, express your grief and feelings in healthy forms such as reaching out to the people closest to you to seek the love that you may need during this time, and/or writing in a journal.

2. Seek out support from loved ones and other AAPI individuals and communities

The Rowan University community of support for AAPI identities is listed below.

3. Seek to engage in advocacy and empower yourself and others

Seek to engage in advocacy and empower yourself and others who identify as AAPI by acting with agency and participating in actions to solve issues. Advocacy organizations and movements that you may wish to support are listed below.

Rowan University Community of Support for AAPI Identities:

I Am Asian: All Rowan University students who identify as Asian are invited to join I Am Asian, a support group organized by the Wellness Center.

Please share the above flyer with campus networks via go.rowan.edu/deiiamasian

Wellness Center: All Rowan University students are encouraged to access mental health resources and support through the Wellness Center, by calling 856.256.4333 or emailing wellnesscenter@rowan.edu 

Employee Advisory Service: All Rowan University faculty and staff are encouraged to access mental health resources and support by contacting the Employee Advisory Service. Schedule a session by calling 1.866.327.9133

Student clubs to join include the Asian Cultural Association, South Asian Students Association, Rowan Rangeela, Japanese Culture Club, Vietnamese Students Association, Rowan University Philippine American Coalition, Women of Color Alliance, Men of Color Alliance, Minority Association of Premedical Students, International Club, and Muslim Student Association.

Women of Color Collective (WCC): WCC aims to build community among women, womyn, and womxn of color on campus. Through WCC, women, womyn, and womxn of color will gain a network to share their stories and provide support for challenges and successes they experience in their daily lives. WCC is for all women, womyn, and womxn of color across campus. The spring semester theme is “Love and Its Many Types and Facets.” Please contact SJICR for virtual meeting dates and details.

RU Student Diversity Committee: Rowan University PhD and MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling students and student clinicians who may be seeking peer support, and who identify as BIPOC, are invited to join the RU Student Diversity Committee. Please contact Danika Charles at charle65@students.rowan.edu for virtual meetings dates and details.

For all student complaints involving discrimination and harassment, please visit go.rowan.edu/titlevi

Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder, and Crisis Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you are in distress and would like free, confidential crisis counseling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255. More than 150 languages are offered on the lifeline. Note: You do not have to be suicidal to call.

Asian LifeNet Hotline: If you are in distress and would like free, confidential crisis counseling in the specific languages of Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, or Fujianese, call the Asian LifeNet Hotline at 1.877.990.8585

Crisis Text Line: If you are in distress and would like free, confidential crisis counseling via text message, text HOME to the number 741741

SAMHSA National Helpline: If you are experiencing issues with mental health and/or substance use disorders, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline is a free, confidential information service and treatment referral. Call 1.800.662.4357

The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides free, confidential, immediate support and essential tools to enable victims to find safety. Call 1.800.799.7233

Other Mental Health Resources:

The Asian Mental Health Collective raises awareness about mental health care within Asian communities, and offers online directories of mental health professionals who identify as Asian in the U.S. and Canada.

Inclusive Therapists is a social justice movement founded by licensed marriage and family therapist Melody Li to destigmatize and expand mental health care to people with marginalized identities. Patients can search for a therapist by insurance, specialties, and identity.

(Image via @inclusivetherapists)

The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association supports mental health and wellness for AAPI communities through resources and training. The organization offers an online directory of service providers across the nation.

The Asian American Psychological Association is dedicated to supporting mental health needs in Asian American communities through research, education, clinical practice, and policy. The organization offers an online resource guide concerning racism, self-care, and caregiving during the pandemic.

Towards Allyship:

1. Self-education

The distressing rise in anti-Asian discrimination, violence, and hate crimes has been largely fueled by racist sentiments surrounding the pandemic. Anti-Asian racism and xenophobia are not new phenomena. It is critical that we understand how this racism has endured in the U.S. in the past—through policies and social behaviors—so that we can progress in thoroughly addressing and eradicating this racism.

2. Speak up and out, and hold others accountable for their language, stereotypes, and racism

“Towards allyship” within anti-racism work means acknowledging harmful language and centering the AAPI experience. As an ally/accomplice, you can leverage your privilege(s) to have difficult conversations. For example, if someone refers to COVID–19 as the “Chinese virus,” you can state, “Let’s unpack why you believe that the virus is someone’s fault.” You can continue the conversation to explain why words matter, and why stereotypes are harmful, given the long history of discrimination and racism that the AAPI community has suffered and continues to suffer.

3. Avoid reinforcing stereotypes in the classroom and workplace

Structural Anti-Asian racism has long contributed to the “model minority” myth. The myth is a widespread stereotype that people who identify as Asian are more educated, healthier, and belong to a higher socioeconomic status as compared to other racially minoritized groups. The harmful stereotype is rooted in anti-Blackness, in which the myth has been strategically used to oppose racial activism, particularly during the Civil Rights Movement. It homogenizes individuals who identify as AAPI and contributes to ignorance of systemic inequity and disparities, and lack of access to resources including social services. In education, students, faculty, and staff continue to experience discrimination, harassment, racial isolation, and overall stigma embodied in the myth. For example, white educators may assume that students who identify as AAPI do not need the further assistance of tutoring, mental health support, and other support programs. This harmful assumption can lead to students who identify as AAPI not receiving access to resources that they may need. As an ally/accomplice, continue to unpack the “model minority” myth and reflect on the ways in which you have contributed to stereotypes, biases, and exclusionary practices.

4. Support AAPI-owned restaurants and businesses

Since the start of the pandemic, Chinese-owned restaurants and other Asian-owned restaurants have experienced a loss in profits, related to the pandemic and discrimination and violence propagated against AAPI. Please support AAPI-owned local restaurants and businesses, and encourage loved ones to do the same. Rowan University staff and student recommendations of local restaurants and businesses include Tokyo Mandarin, Hunan East, King Wong, Han Dynasty, Lucky Chopstix, Dolsot House, Tomo Sushi, Thai Thai, Thai Terrace, Lai Thai Cuisine, Bangkok City, Viet Pho, Little Pond Golf Center, and Envy Nail Spa.

Resources for Continued Learning:

Trainings:

Register for #StopAsianHate: Leading Anti-Racist Efforts in Organizations, a conversation with Lily Zheng, DEI consultant, on “processing trauma at work, leading anti-racist efforts, and how to combat Anti-Asian violence and discrimination.” The virtual event date is Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 1 pm EDT.

Register for virtual Bystander Intervention Trainings, led by the organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice, to combat the rise in discrimination and violence affecting AAPI victims. Training webinars are one-hour, interactive online formats, during which time participants will learn about “the types of disrespect and dangers that Asian and Asian American folks are facing right now and throughout history—from microaggressions to violence, what to look for in scenarios and the positive impact that bystander intervention has on individuals and communities, talk through five strategies (5Ds) for intervention and how to prioritize your own safety while intervening, [and] practice using the 5Ds so that participants are confident intervening the next time they witness Anti-Asian harassment.”

Other Events:

Register for Women Warriors: A Solidarity Reading, led by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, a “marathon reading featuring a powerhouse collective of Asian American women. In the aftermath of the horrific murders in Atlanta, GA, we offer this space as one for grieving, healing, and empowering. During a time marked by tragedy, anger, and loss, we look to our artistry to find and celebrate the resilience and brilliance of each and every woman warrior.” The virtual event date is Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7 pm EDT.

Websites:

Stop AAPI Hate is a reporting center website, tracking incidents of discrimination and violence against AAPI since the start of the pandemic.

The Asian American Journalists’ Association developed media guidance for coverage of the Atlanta murders and anti-Asian incidents of discrimination, violence, and hate crimes.

AAPI Data publishes demographic data and policy research on AAPI communities.

Articles:

Dewan, S. (2021). How Racism and Sexism Intertwine to Torment Asian-American Women. The New York Times.

Fan, J. (2021). The Atlanta Shooting and the Dehumanizing of Asian Women. The New Yorker.

Chang, A. (2021). For Asian American Women, Misogyny and Racism Are Inseparable, Sociologist Says. NPR.

Kwon, R.O. (2021). A Letter to My Fellow Asian Women Whose Hearts Are Still Breaking. Vanity Fair.

Gupta, A. (2021). Tales of Racism and Sexism, From 3 Leading Asian-American Women. The New York Times.

Tran, L. (2021). What a Bad Day Means to Me. Vogue.

Cheng, A. (2021). What This Wave of Anti-Asian Violence Reveals About America. The New York Times.

Hsu, H. (2021). The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence. The New Yorker.

Perry, S. L., Whitehead, A. L., & Grubbs, J. B. (2021). Prejudice and pandemic in the promised land: how white Christian nationalism shapes Americans’ racist and xenophobic views of COVID–19. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 44(5), 759-772.

Symonds, S. (2021). Why Saying Chinese Food Is ‘Unhealthy’ Is a Recipe for Racism. Well+Good.

Seow, S. (2021). Why So Many Asian American Seniors Struggle With Food Insecurity. Well+Good.

Raju, A. (2021). Black and Asian Solidarity in American History: The Power of Unity Exemplified by 5 Major Events. Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Gover, A. R., Harper, S. B., & Langton, L. (2020). Anti-Asian hate crime during the COVID–19 pandemic: Exploring the reproduction of inequality. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 45(4), 647-667.

Noel, T. K. (2020). Conflating culture with COVID–19: Xenophobic repercussions of a global pandemic. Social Sciences & Humanities Open, 2(1), 100044.

Nguyen, V. T. (2020). Asian Americans Are Still Caught in the Trap of the ‘Model Minority’ Stereotype. And It Creates Inequality for All. Time.

Videos:

House Committee on the Judiciary. (2021, March 18). Discrimination and Violence Against Asian Americans [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=547JYf-VA_Q 

Democracy Now!. (2021, March 18). Stop Asian Hate: Connie Wun on Atlanta Spa Killings, Gender Violence & Spike in Anti-Asian Attacks [Video]. https://www.democracynow.org/2021/3/18/atlanta_shooting_rampage_anti_asian_violence 

PBS. (2020, May 12). Asian Americans [Video]. https://www.pbs.org/show/asian-americans 

Dr. Talee Vang. (2020, March 28). Disarming Racism from a Psychological Perspective [Video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1q1hPLGq24 

Viking Books. (2019, September 24). I Am With You – Chanel Miller [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouIxvBMF7Rw 

Asian Art Museum. (2020, August 5). Chanel Miller on “I was, I am, I will be” [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLn7CQqyUY8 

Books:

Kingston, M. H. (1989). The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. New York: Vintage.

Cheung, K. K. (1993). Articulate Silences: Hisaye Yamamoto, Maxine Hong Kingston, Joy Kogawa. Cornell University Press.

Yung, J. (1995). Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco. University of California Press.

Lowe, L. (1996). Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics. Duke University Press.

Kochiyama, Y., & Aguilar-San Juan, K. (1997). Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire. South End Press.

Le Espiritu, Y. (1997). Asian American Women and Men: Labor, Laws, and Love. Rowman & Littlefield.

Zia, H. (2000). Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Bow, L. (2001). Betrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, Asian American Women’s Literature. Princeton University Press.

Nam, V. (2001). Yell-Oh Girls!: Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity, and Growing Up Asian American. Harper Collins.

Kochiyama, Y., & Lee, M. (2004). Passing It On: A Memoir. UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press.

Koshy, S. (2005). Sexual Naturalization: Asian Americans and Miscegenation. Stanford University Press.

Chin, M. M. (2005). Sewing Women: Immigrants and the New York City Garment Industry. Columbia University Press.

Shimizu, C. P. (2007). The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian/American Women on Screen and Scene. Duke University Press.

Ayyub, R., Rudrappa, S., Hunjan, S., Choudhury, P., Purkayastha, B., Bhuyan, R., … & Jesudason, S. A. (2007). Body Evidence: Intimate Violence against South Asian Women in America. Rutgers University Press.

Kauanui, J. K. (2008). Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity. Duke University Press.

Glenn, E. N. (2009). Unequal Freedom. Harvard University Press.

Boggs, G. L., & Kurashige, S. (2012). The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century. University of California Press.

Okihiro, G. Y. (2014). Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture. University of Washington Press.

Lee, E. (2015). The Making of Asian America: A History. Simon and Schuster.

Jayawardena, K. (2016). Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World. Verso Books.

Ishizuka, K. L. (2016). Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties. Verso Books.

Kuo Wei Tchen, J., & Yeats, D. (Eds.). (2017). Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear. Verso Books.

Iyer, D. (2017). We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future. The New Press.

Fujiwara, L., & Roshanravan, S. (Eds.). (2018). Asian American Feminisms and Women of Color Politics. University of Washington Press.

Piepzna-Samarasinha, L. L. (2018). Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. Arsenal Pulp Press.

Yanyi. (2019). The Year of Blue Water. Yale University Press.

Choi, F. (2019). Soft Science. Alice James Books.

Hune, S., & Nomura, G. M. (Eds.). (2020). Our Voices, Our Histories: Asian American and Pacific Islander Women. NYU Press.

Fujino, D. C. (2021). Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake. University of Washington Press.

Hong, C. P. (2021). Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. One World.

Deonath, G., & Ramdeen, K. (Eds.). (2021). Untold: Defining Movements of the Uprooted. Mango and Marigold Press.

Instagram Accounts:

Stop AAPI Hate is a coalition addressing anti-Asian hate during the pandemic.

Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council is a coalition of community-based organizations advocating for the rights and needs of AAPI.

Chinese for Affirmative Action works for systemic change and advocates for racial justice and immigrant rights.

Asian Mental Health Collective is building a community for mental health support in Asian communities.

Subtle Asian Mental Health is a private Facebook group and part of the Asian Mental Health Collective.

Inclusive Therapists is a social justice movement founded by licensed marriage and family therapist Melody Li to destigmatize and expand mental health care to people with marginalized identities.

Asians for Mental Health (Dr. Jenny Wang, licensed clinical psychologist) is dedicated to mental health and social justice.

Brown Girl Therapy is a mental health community for the children of immigrants, founded by Sahaj Kaur Kohli.

Project Lotus is a youth-led community working to “destigmatize mental health in Asian-American communities by tackling the model minority stereotype through culturally-relevant education for the community and the empowerment of voices,” providing resources for young people who identify as Asian American and who may be struggling with discussing issues surrounding mental health with loved ones.

Chanel Miller is a writer and artist.

Yumi Sakugawa is a comic artist.

MILCK is a singer–songwriter.

Jenny Yang is a comic and writer.

Jas Charanjiva is an artist, activist, and entrepreneur.

Angry Asian Feminist is an Instagram account dedicated to learning and unlearning, and intersectional feminism.

#Asians4BlackLives supports the safety, justice, and resilience of Black communities.

Queer Asian Social Club is a collective empowering community through queer Asian/Pacific Islander/Southwest Asian/Desi visibility.

Welcome to Chinatown is a grassroots initiative supporting Chinatown businesses in New York City, working to amplify community voices and preserve the neighborhood.

Asian American Collective is a community of Asian people in music, media, entertainment, and creative spaces.

Asian Art Museum features an expansive collection from its location in San Francisco.

New Jersey and Local Groups to Support:

The Center for Asian Health and Chinese Health Initiative at Saint Barnabas Medical Center offers culturally relevant medical care and is based in Northern New Jersey. 

The Chinese American Mental Health Outreach Program in New Jersey is a National Alliance on Mental Illness initiative to serve immigrants from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other regions and countries.

The South Asian Mental Health Awareness in Jersey is a National Alliance on Mental Illness initiative to serve South Asians of Asian Indian and Pakistani descent, and those from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives.

Manavi is a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization with the goal of empowering South Asian women survivors of sexual violence.

The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice protects the human, civil, and labor rights of immigrants in New Jersey spanning documented immigrants and those seeking status.

Asian Americans United exists so that people of Asian descent in Philadelphia can build culture, community, leadership, and challenge oppression.

The Asian Arts Initiative is a multidisciplinary arts center in Philadelphia’s Chinatown North, dedicated to exhibitions, performances, artist residencies, and workshops for youth.

The Southeast Asia Mutual Assistance Association Coalition supports immigrants and refugees in the Greater Philadelphia area through education, organizing, and advocacy.

National Groups to Support:

The Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum influences policy and mobilizes communities to improve AAPI health.

The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum utilizes a reproductive justice framework to elevate AAPI women and drive systemic change in the areas of reproductive health and rights, economic justice, and immigrant rights and racial justice.

The GABRIELA National Alliance of Women has extended the Filipino women’s mass movement to the U.S., campaigning on issues including and not limited to gender discrimination and reproductive justice.

Womankind empowers Asian survivors of gender-based violence.

The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center empowers Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese American communities to develop an equitable society while standing with other refugees and BIPOC communities pursuing social equity.

SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Coalition is based in Atlanta and builds networks of individuals and organizations to improve the reproductive health care of marginalized communities.

The Asian American Feminist Collective engages in intersectional feminist movements within AAPI communities. In their words, “Asian/American feminism is an ever-evolving practice that seeks to address the multi-dimensional ways Asian/American people confront systems of power at the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, disability, migration history, citizenship and immigration status. We are indebted to ways Black feminist thought and Third World feminist movements enable us to think and act critically through our own positionalities to address systems of anti-Black racism, settler colonialism, and xenophobia.”

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance builds capacities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender AAPI groups, in addition to developing leadership, educating the community, grassroots organizing, and combating anti-LGBTQ bias.

The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development works to support and improve the lives of over two million AAPI individuals living in poverty worldwide.

The Asian Pacific Environmental Network builds community-owned renewable sources of energy and protects affordable housing.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is the national affiliation of five organizations working for civil and human rights of AAPI and other communities.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund works with communities across the U.S., focusing on issues including and not limited to immigrant rights, housing justice, educational equity, and the elimination of anti-Asian discrimination, violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking.

The Asian Prisoner Support Committee organizes anti-deportation campaigns and develops culturally competent reentry programs.

The Detention Watch Network builds power through advocacy, grassroots organizing, and strategic communications for the abolition of immigration detention.

The Sikh Coalition works to protect the constitutional right to practice religion without fear.

The Council on American–Islamic Relations empowers Muslim American communities through civil rights advocacy.

The Asian American Journalists Association advances visibility and inclusion of AAPI journalists in newsrooms and their leadership, and works for accurate and equitable coverage of AAPI issues in the media.

The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association addresses issues important to AAPI medical students, promotes the health of AAPI communities and provides understanding of how to care for patients with cultural competency and sensitivity, and serves as a forum for medical students to meet, network, and develop as professionals.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association established pro bono legal resources to ensure that AAPI can address the rising incidents of discrimination, violence, and hate crimes effecting their communities.

The South Asian Bar Association of North America provides professional development opportunities and promotes equity and justice for the South Asian community.

Articles on AAPI Barriers to Mental Health Care, and Resources for Health Care Professionals:

Discrimination, violence, and hate crimes against AAPI may negatively affect the mental health of those directly affected by these incidents in addition to bystanders and anyone who identifies as AAPI. It is critical to note that SAMHSA data reveals that adults who identify as AAPI are the racial group who are least likely to seek and utilize mental health care, and are three times less likely than whites to do so. 

Similar to barriers that exist that prevent individuals who identify as AAPI from disclosing and reporting discrimination, violence, and hate crimes, there exist barriers that prevent the racial group from seeking and utilizing mental health care. These include and are not limited to stigma that is associated with discussing mental health-related issues in many Asian cultures, in addition to the harmful “model minority” stereotype, high costs of health care and high rates of uninsurance and underinsurance, immigration status, and insufficient cultural competency and bias that exists among health care professionals.

These difficulties, and a widespread lack of awareness within AAPI communities of resources and treatment options, are some of the largest deterrents in seeking professional care. As such, health care professionals, public health researchers, and health equity advocates must do more to destigmatize and normalize mental health care for AAPI communities. Below please find relevant literature concerning barriers and stigma, and resources focused on cultural competency within the field.

Shahid, M., Weiss, N. H., Stoner, G., & Dewsbury, B. (2021). Asian Americans’ mental health help-seeking attitudes: The relative and unique roles of cultural values and ethnic identity. Asian American Journal of Psychology.

Park, C. J., Kim, C., Nguyen, N. C. Y., Tran, A. T., Chiang, A., Rho, S. J., … & Cho, M. K. (2021). Use of Korean dramas to facilitate precision mental health understanding and discussion for Asian Americans. Health Promotion International.

Dong, H., Dai, J., Lipson, S. K., & Curry, L. (2020). Help-seeking for mental health services in Asian American college students: an exploratory qualitative study. Journal of American College Health, 1-8.

Huang, E. R., & Hall, G. C. N. (2020). The invisibility of Asian Americans in the United States: Impact on mental and physical health. In Prejudice, Stigma, Privilege, and Oppression (pp. 91-106). Springer, Cham.

Naito, T., Chin, J., Kim, T. U., Veera, S., Jeannette, M., & Lomiguen, C. M. (2020). Further Reduction in Help-Seeking Behaviors Amidst Additional Barriers to Mental Health Treatment in Asian Populations: A Contemporary Review. Cureus, 12(11).

Green, J. G., McLaughlin, K. A., Fillbrunn, M., Fukuda, M., Jackson, J. S., Kessler, R. C., … & Alegría, M. (2020). Barriers to mental health service use and predictors of treatment drop out: Racial/ethnic variation in a population-based study. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 1-11.

Kim, G., Wang, S. Y., Park, S., & Yun, S. W. (2020). Mental Health of Asian American Older Adults: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions. Innovation in Aging, 4(5), igaa037.

Saraiya, T., Smith, K. Z., Campbell, A. N. C., & Hien, D. (2019). Posttraumatic stress symptoms, shame, and substance use among Asian Americans. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 96, 1-11.

Chen, J. A., Stevens, C., Wong, S. H., & Liu, C. H. (2019). Psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses among US college students: A comparison by race and ethnicity. Psychiatric Services, 70(6), 442-449.

American Psychiatric Association. (2019.) Treating Asian Americans. Stress & Trauma Toolkit for Treating Historically Marginalized Populations in a Changing Political and Social Environment.

American Psychiatric Association. (2019.) Treating Undocumented Immigrants. Stress & Trauma Toolkit for Treating Historically Marginalized Populations in a Changing Political and Social Environment.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). Improving Cultural Competence. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series No. 59. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4849.

Corann Okorodudu Inaugural Africana Studies Lecture Series

The Africana Studies program will host its inaugural Corann Okorodudu Africana Studies Lecture Series on Wednesday, April 14 at 5:00 p.m. to honor her legacy and service. Dr. Okorodudu is Emerita Professor of Psychology and Africana Studies at Rowan University. Her spirited leadership had a profound impact on the program’s development and growth, resulting in the approval of the B.A. degree in AS (2008).   She has also dedicated much of her energy and time working for the United Nations, with a particular focus on the development of advocacy statements and educational programs on eliminating racism and promoting social justice, gender equality, children’s rights, and inclusive international migration. The keynote speaker for this inaugural event is Verene A. Shepherd, graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Cambridge, and Professor Emerita of Social History at the UWI. She is Director of the Centre for Reparation Research at the UWI, a published author of 7 books, and radio host and scholar activist, especially in the areas of women’s rights, human rights and reparatory justice.​

The event will take place on Wednesday, April 14 at 5:00PM.

To access this free online event, please email CINDS@rowan.edu

DEI Annual Annual Report 2019 – 2021

We are celebrating two years of service to Rowan and the broader community! The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is pleased to share our DEI annual report! Within the flipbook, you will see what we’ve accomplished since the launch of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in 2019!

Link to the flipbook: https://www.flipsnack.com/EFCBABBBDC9/division-of-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-annual-report/full-view.html

DEI Prof-Spectives: Ramadan

Written by Francesca Pugh-Opher, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor in Africana Studies

pughf@rowan.edu 

Ramadan is an Islamic holy month, and the ninth month of the lunar calendar. The calendar is based on the phases of the moon. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims who observe the traditions fast during the daylight hours for approximately 30 days, which means that they will not eat or drink (even water) until the sun sets each day.

When is Ramadan?

Ramadan 2021 is expected to begin on Tuesday, April 13, dependent upon the sighting of the new moon. As the Lunar New Year is 11 days shorter than the solar year, Ramadan will begin 11 days earlier than the previous year. It will take 33 years for Ramadan to complete a full cycle and return to the same season. 

What is the purpose of Ramadan?

Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Quran during the month of Ramadan. It is a time for spiritual reflection and self-improvement, and Muslims practice self-control, gratitude, and compassion for others who are less fortunate. Muslims focus on religious devotion by increasing daily prayers, reading the Quran, and giving to charity (zakat).

Do all Muslims fast?

All Muslims who have reached puberty are required to fast. However, every Muslim is different, and they may not practice or observe Ramadan. Some Muslims are exempt from fasting. For example, women who are pregnant, nursing, or menstruating are exempt from fasting. Muslims who are sick, traveling, or elderly and weak are exempt from fasting. Instead, they can make up their fast at another time or provide food for a person who is impoverished for each missed day of fasting. Young children are not required to fast; however, many children voluntarily start fasting around seven years old as practice.

Ramadan Routines

Muslims usually wake before dawn to eat suhoor, a pre-dawn meal, and finish their meal before sunrise. Most Muslims spend their day doing normal activities such as working, light exercise, running errands, etc., and in the evening, many families go to the mosque for taraweeh, nightly prayers. These nightly prayers occur only during Ramadan. It is very common for Muslims to break their fast with family and friends at home or at the mosque. Ramadan is a very social time; unfortunately, due to the COVID–19 pandemic, Ramadan will look very different.

Eid al-Fitr

At the end of Ramadan…party time!! Eid al-Fitr is an Islamic holiday lasting for three days. The name of the holiday means “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.” This year, Eid (for short) will be held around May 13. Muslims celebrate the holiday with a morning prayer and breakfast, and visit their family and friends, exchanging gifts. Eid is a celebration of strength and self-control as well as gratitude to God.

Ramadan and our students

Ramadan is very important for Muslims who observe the fast. Fasting, participating in classes, and studying for final exams can be challenging for students. Check on your Muslim students to ensure that they are managing their coursework, and allow for accomodations for assignments and tests, if possible. Most importantly, talk to your students about how you can support and advocate for them during Ramadan and beyond.

DEI Faculty Research Spotlight: Associate Professor focuses on African American History and Amistad Law

Dr. Chanelle Rose, Associate Professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

rosec@rowan.edu

Dr. Rose was nominated for the DEI Faculty Research Spotlight by a Rowan University student who shared, “Dr. Rose is an incredible professor who possesses a true passion for African American history. In just two semesters with Dr. Rose, I have gained more knowledge about African Americans in the United States than I have in my life. She frequently ties in her lessons of the past to the present day, ensuring that students not only see but understand the severity of racial inequity in our country. She provides students with various resources that serve to both educate her students and encourage their activism. Dr. Rose comes into class every day prepared to inspire her students and she does just that.”

Tell us about the DEI research that you are doing:

One of my current projects focuses on strengthening the implementation of the 2002 New Jersey Amistad Law, which requires public schools to incorporate African American history into their social studies curriculum. In 2020, NJ lawmakers approved a bill that will bolster the Amistad law by putting the Amistad Commission (a 23-member body established to ensure the teaching of African American history) under the state Department of Education, tightening regulations and oversight, and mandating professional development for teachers. However, there is still a critical need to provide education majors and public-school teachers with the content knowledge required to help them develop innovative lesson plans on African American history. In the spring of 2021, I developed a Certificate in Undergraduate Studies (CUGS) proposal, entitled CUGS in NJ Amistad Law: African American Studies for Future Educators (recently approved by the Senate Curriculum Committee Chair), to give Rowan students, especially education majors, a more tailored curriculum on African American history that will better prepare them to teach this material in the classroom and/or online. In addition, I’m part of an Amistad Project/Group (established under the direction of Dean Nawal Ammar) of faculty from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Education that is in the early stages of spearheading different projects related to this larger mission. Our graduate research assistant, Kevin Jablonowski, has been looking at the state and local challenges with implementation of the law, and he’s given special attention to the Amistad Commission’s website to develop helpful tips that will make it more accessible to teachers. In addition, Provost Anthony M. Lowman has asked the Amistad group to consider building virtual reality modules on African American history.

What made you want to undertake this work:

This work is a labor of love and personal commitment to ensure that my 4-year-old Black girl can attend a school that celebrates her history and culture. But it’s also driven by my desire to create the same opportunities for other Black children to affirm their humanity alongside students of diverse ethnic backgrounds, so they can all develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the multifaceted African American experience. It is also important for students to understand that African American history is an integral part of the American story and deep-rooted struggle to develop a more perfect union. I’ve been teaching at Rowan for a little over a decade, and students of all backgrounds continue to share their frustration and disappointment with primarily learning about Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks during Black History Month. We have to do better! As the coordinator of the Africana Studies program at Rowan, I think we can play a really important role in bridging the gap between the University, public schools, and the community at large.

Why would our students at Rowan University be interested in this work?

Students at Rowan University would be interested in this work because it will have a direct impact on their development as future educators and the students they will teach. The larger goal of the Amistad Project is to provide primary sources, seminars, and workshops while cultivating community partnerships in order to equip Rowan’s education majors with the necessary resources to fully infuse African American history into their K-12 curricula. It will also align with the College of Education’s mission to advance diversity and social justice through a robust educational curriculum. I believe the University has the opportunity to serve as the flagship institution in the South Jersey region and premiere pre­service teaching program that highlights and promotes the curriculum provided by the New Jersey Amistad Commission to enforce the mandate.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your work?  

I’ve been interested in doing this kind of work for a long time. However, Dean Nawal’s (CHSS) support and Dean Jean-Marie Gaëtane’s (COE) receptiveness to her ideas has been the real game changer. In addition, members of the Africana Studies Council —particularly Dr. Marquita Smith and Kenzo Sung—have been instrumental in the early stages of this work. Finally, Kevin Jablonowski’s research has also opened new opportunities for collaboration and effective change. This is truly an interdisciplinary undertaking.

Dr. Chanelle Rose’s daughter with some of her favorite books

DEI Prof-Spectives: Arab American Heritage Month

Written by DEI in collaboration with Patricia Fortunato, Content Manager/Program Manager at the NeuroMusculoskeletal Institute — Rowan Medicine

fortun83@rowan.edu 

During the month of April, the United States celebrates Arab American Heritage Month, recognizing the history, cultures, and achievements of Arabs, Arab Americans, and people who trace their ethnic lineage to Southwest Asia and North Africa. During an era of heightened racism, bigotry, and hate crimes affecting BIPOC communities, it is critically important to share accurate information, celebrate diverse cultures, overcome stereotypes, and empower future generations.

Brief History:

On April 30, 2020, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Representatives Donna Shalala, Debbie Dingell, and Bill Pascrell, Jr., issued a congressional resolution honoring Arab American Heritage Month. 

“As a strong and proud Arab American woman in Congress, it is an honor to introduce this Arab American Heritage Month resolution uplifting our contributions to this nation. For generations, Arab Americans have infused our love for freedom, justice, and equity into every aspect of our American experience. Most recently, we have seen Arab American health care workers be exemplars of patriotism, fighting on the front lines of the COVID–19 pandemic. This resolution serves as a message of appreciation and thanks for these contributions made and future contributions that Arab American communities across our country will no doubt continue to make.” —Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.

The full text of the resolution can be read here.

Terms:

Arab: The term “Arab” is both linguistic and cultural. It references people who may speak Arabic as a first language. Arab is not a race; people who are Arab are united by history and culture. Many Arabs identify with the Muslim religion, and there are also Jewish Arabs and Christian Arabs across the U.S. and world.

Arab Americans: Arab Americans are Americans of Arab descent. There are many Americans with ethnic roots in each Arab country; many originate from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Yemen, and Iraq. The first Arab American immigrants arrived in the late 19th century; a second wave of immigration began post-World War II and continues today. The largest communities live in Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan.

Arab World: The “Arab world” spans 22 countries from North Africa to the Arabian Gulf: Algeria, Bahrain, the Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Iran and Turkey are not Arab countries, despite being frequently misidentified. Arab countries are extraordinarily diverse concerning ethnicities, languages, and religious communities.

BIPOC: “BIPOC” is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. The term acknowledges how violence against Black and Indigenous people is foundational to the U.S., as the founding and expansion of this country relied on slavery and genocide. The term also blurs the differences between the two groups it is meant to center, as belonging as a “member” of each group is and historically has been different—with the one-drop rule of antebellum and Jim Crow South assigning anyone with as much as “one drop” of Black heritage to automatically be considered Black, but requiring those of Indigenous heritage to prove they have “enough” Indigenous heritage to belong to the group.

BIWOC: “BIWOC” is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and women of color.

Cultural Appropriation: Taking and benefiting from the expression, ideas, artifacts, etc. of another culture without permission, often done by the dominant culture. This is not a cultural exchange, which requires mutual consent and respect.

Immigrant: An immigrant is a person who moves to another country, usually for permanent residence. They may or may not be citizens. The terms “foreigner,” “illegal immigrant,” and “alien” are offensive and should not be used as synonyms.

Institutional Racism: The ways in which the structures, systems, policies, and procedures of institutions are founded upon and then promote, reproduce, and perpetuate advantages for the dominant group and the oppression of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.

International: The appropriate term to use for students who obtain a non-immigrant visa such as a student visa or an exchange visitor visa.

Intersectionality: A theoretical concept describing the interconnection of oppressive institutions and identities.

Islamophobia: A form of bigotry, hostility, and discrimination targeted at Muslims, and more generally those perceived as Arabs. 

Middle East: “Middle East” is a term used loosely, and not necessarily to describe one territory. It typically includes the Arab countries spanning Egypt to the Persian Gulf, and Palestine, Israel, and Iran. Turkey is often regarded as part of the Middle East; in some instances, it is regarded as part of Europe. The countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh are described as part of South Asia.

Muslim: A person who identifies as Muslim identifies with the religion of Islam. There are Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, and Druze Muslims. Not all Arabs and Arab Americans are Muslim, and not all Muslims are Arab. It is critically important to note that Arabs and Arab Americans are a religiously diverse culture.

Muslim World: There are an estimated 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. The ten countries with the largest Muslim populations are Indonesia (219.9 million), India (194.8 million), Pakistan (184 million), Bangladesh (144 million), Nigeria (90 million), Egypt (83.8 million), Iran (77.6 million), Turkey (75.4 million), Algeria (37.2 million), and Iraq (36.2 million).

Person of Color, or People of Color: “Person of Color” and “People of Color” are umbrella terms for anyone who is non-white. The use of the term “colored” is offensive and should not be used as a synonym. The terms “ethnic” and “urban” also have negative undertones and likewise, should not be used as synonyms.

Racism: Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed toward someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of society, and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices. 

Refugee: A refugee is a person forced to flee their country due to violence or persecution. The term “migrant” may be offensive in some contexts.

Sexism: A system of beliefs or attitudes which regulates women to limited roles and/or options because of their sex. It centers on the idea that women are inferior to men.

Xenophobia: A fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners.

Historical Figures:

Layla bint Abullah ibn Shaddad ibn Ka’b al-Akhyaliyyah

Layla bint Abullah ibn Shaddad ibn Ka’b al-Akhyaliyyah (Layla al-Akhyaliyyah, d. c. AH 75/694×90/709 CE) was a poet who lived during the Umayyad dynasty, the first Muslim dynasty to rule the empire of the caliphate. “Feminism” is generally seen as the advocacy of the social, political, and economic equality of all genders—and as noted by a scholar of Arabic studies, while feminism was not necessarily documented during pre-modern eras, there exist women who lived feminism through their work and by violating social norms. Therefore, al-Akhyaliyyah may be considered one of the earliest feminists in the Arab world, as she was positioned in the role of a Bedouin tribal poet, going against the grain of women’s traditional social domain. Comprehensive biographical accounts of al-Akhyaliyyah are documented in Kitab al-Aghani (The Book of Songs) and attributed to the Arabic writer Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani.

There are no verified photographs of al-Akhyaliyyah available.

Dr. Nawal El Saadawi

Dr. Nawal El Saadawi (1931–2021) was an Egyptian feminist, activist, writer, and physician. She was born in a village town, Kafr Tahla, in Qalyubiyya Governorate, where she suffered from forced genital mutilation at age six. (Here is a fact sheet from the World Health Organization.) In her first autobiography, A Daughter of Isis, she writes of her remembrance of the forced genital mutilation procedure, her anger when she realized that women were not considered equal to men in society, and her early adoption of feminism. She went on to study medicine at Cairo University, graduating as a Doctor of Medicine in 1955 and marrying a fellow medical student with whom she had a daughter, Mona Helmy, who went on to become an activist and writer. Dr. El Saadawi went on to divorce her first spouse, and her second spouse as he forced her to choose between marriage and writing. She chose writing, and in 1957, published her first book titled I Learned Love, a collection of short stories. She went on to study at Columbia University, graduating with her master of public health in 1966, and married Dr. Sherif Hetata, a physician and writer who was incarcerated in Egypt for 13 years due to his political views. He went on to become her lifelong companion until they divorced in 2010, and they had a son, Atef Hetata, a film director who focuses on social issues in his work.

She spent her lifetime tirelessly fighting for women’s rights in Egypt, authoring more than 55 books including Women and Sex which included criticism of female genital mutilation and caused her to lose her job as director general of public health for the Egyptian ministry of health, The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World which focused on the dehumanizing effects of female genital mutilation, and Woman at Point Zero which focused on the absence of women’s rights in patriarchal societies. In 1981, her political views led to her being charged with crimes against the state and incarcerated for three months. During her time experiencing incarceration, she wrote Memoirs from the Women’s Prison on toilet paper with an eyebrow pencil. She became a target of Islamic militants with her name on death lists along with Naguib Mahfouz, an Egyptian Nobel literature laureate who was stabbed in an attempted murder in 1994. Despite it all, Dr. El Saadawi stated in 2009, “I regret none of my 47 books. If I started my life again I would write the same books. They are all very relevant even today: the issues of gender, class, colonialism (although of course that was British and is now American), female genital mutilation, male genital mutilation, capitalism, sexual rape, and economic rape.”

She established and led the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association and co-founded the Arab Association for Human Rights, and in 2003, moved to the U.S. due to continuing death threats. In 2005, she returned to Egypt where she campaigned for president, abandoning the process after experiencing difficulty holding rallies. In 2007, she published her play, God Resigns in the Summit Meeting, focused on the theme of God questioned by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian prophets, leading to her condemnation by Al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest Sunni Muslim authority, and resulted in her experiencing allegations of apostasy. Despite these challenges, she shared in 2010 that she was galvanized to continue the work by the letters that she received from people who wrote that their lives were transformed by her writing. During a 2018 interview with BBC presenter Zeinab Badawi, Badawi suggested that she “tone down” her criticism, to which she replied, “No. I should be more outspoken, I should be more aggressive, because the world is becoming more aggressive, and we need people to speak loudly against injustices.”

Dr. El Saadawi was named to Time’s 100 Women of the Year list in 2020, and died on March 21, 2021.

(Photograph by Gigi Ibrahim)

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr was born in 1950 in Egypt. She is the founder and director of ICAP (originally called the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs), and an international physician expert in research on the prevention and management of HIV and other infectious diseases. Her career began as the HIV crisis was underway three decades ago. During that time, she served as chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harlem Hospital, where she developed successful methods for addressing HIV and AIDS through groundbreaking research and models of care on a community level. She went on to become the global leader she is today, fighting the crisis by building systems of health in sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia with effective strategies focused on investment in HIV to strengthen systems of health more broadly.

Dr. El-Sadr has published hundreds of scholarly research articles, with a recent focus on HIV and AIDS during the COVID–19 pandemic. Her recent opinion writing, “What one pandemic can teach us in facing another,” in the peer-reviewed scientific journal AIDS, is excerpted below and serves as a powerful call to action.

“In terms of similarities, both pandemics are caused by zoonotic viruses. For HIV, research confirmed that the virus was transmitted from nonhuman primates to humans while SARS–CoV–2 is thought to have originated in bats. In addition, both viruses are transmitted from person to person. The predominance of HIV transmission through sexual route and via injection drug use has resulted in profound stigma associated with it. At the same time, COVID–19-related stigma has already been noted, including blaming outsiders. Another similarity is that both epidemics have shed light on gaps in health systems. HIV, as a chronic communicable disease, required a transformation from a focus on acute care to be able to deliver on the chronic and ongoing needs of people living with HIV. The COVID–19 pandemic, in contrast, has highlighted the fragility of surveillance and contact tracing systems, the paucity of measures to protect health providers, and the limited infrastructure for advanced care.

The good news is that the decades of struggles in confronting the HIV epidemic provide important lessons relevant to the control of the COVID–19 pandemic.”

Dr. Ahdaf Soueif was born in 1950 in Cairo, where she lives today. She is a novelist and political commentator. Her sister is Laila Soueif, a women’s rights activist and mathematician. Dr. Soueif is known for her second novel, The Map of Love, having been translated into 21 languages and selling more than one million copies. She primarily writes in English, and along with her writing on Egyptian politics, she focuses on Palestinian people in her fiction and non-fiction writing. Her essay, “Under the Gun: A Palestinian Journey,” was originally published as a shortened version in the Guardian and printed in full in her collection of essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground. In 2008, she founded the Palestine Festival of Literature, inspired by the call of the late Palestinian philosopher Edward Said, “to reaffirm the power of culture over the culture of power.” The festival travels to its audiences and facilitates free events in Arabic and English, traditionally performing in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Haifa, and Nablus.

(Photograph via the British Council)

Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Khalid Karman

Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Khalid Karman, known as Tawakkol Karman, was born in 1979 in Shara’b As Salam, Taiz Governorate, Yemen, and raised in Taiz, a southwestern city in Yemen. Her siblings are Tariq Karman, a poet, and Safa Karman, an attorney and journalist. She studied at the University of Science and Technology in Sanaa, Yemen, where she earned an undergraduate degree in commerce, and went on to receive a graduate degree in political science from the University of Sana’a. She has dedicated her life to human rights activism as a journalist, and together with seven other women journalists in 2005, co-founded the human rights group Women Journalists Without Chains

She is known for her role as the international public figure of the Yemeni uprising in 2011, part of the Arab Spring uprisings. She further gained prominence in her role as a journalist and bravely leading protests for press freedom in 2007, expanding issues for reform, and redirecting Yemeni protests to support the Arab Spring after the Tunisian people overthrew the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. She is a co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, wherein she became the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Prize. Also in 2011, she was named to Time’s 100 Women of the Year list.

Karman has been threatened and incarcerated numerous times for her pro-human rights protests, and within the Yemeni opposition movement, is known as “mother of the revolution” and “iron woman.” Throughout all of her work and non-violent approach to catalyzing organizational change, she was able to go against the grain of stereotypes and stigma that depicted Yemen as a country of terrorism. Today, she continues to support women journalists driving change, and organize Yemenis against governmental injustice. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

(Photograph by Julia Baier for Time)

Ways to be inclusive and support Arabs and Arab Americans

1. Recognize the immense diversity of Arabs and Arab Americans

Arabs and Arab Americans are incredibly diverse concerning their origin of country, race and ethnicity, immigration status, dialects and indigenous languages, religion, food, and traditions, and are connected by a shared history and cultural heritage. The U.S. Census has historically categorized all people of Arab or Middle Eastern descent as white; however, many Arab Americans see themselves very differently, and the racial or ethnic classifications do not account for the immense diversity such as individuals who identify as Afro–Arab. As such, they have advocated for changes to the Census classification, recognizing that the current designations do not account for their diversity and experiences. Checking the box “white” on the Census also does not consider the forms of discrimination that they are subjected to—including travel bans, stereotyping by law enforcement and the Transportation Security Administration, and hate crimes. Further, be aware that Arabs and Arab Americans practice many different religions including Islam, Judaism, Christianity, the Baháʼí Faith, Druze, and Yazīdī.

2. Engage in self-reflection and build relationships with people whose backgrounds, traditions, and perspectives differ from yours

Authentic relationships are powerful, and our one-to-one connections can be a foundation of change and advocacy. Building relationships with others whose backgrounds, traditions, and perspectives that differ from your own personal identities and experiences can be key in building equitable and inclusive environments. However, it is critically important to avoid tokenizing. To build authentic relationships, begin first by exploring your own identities, culture, and experiences, and reflect on your race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual identity, religion, educational status, age, and geographic area. Then, explore your language, space, gender and family roles, family ties, etc., and further reflect on your experiences, perspectives, and biases.

Further suggestions include reading and learning about Arab cultures, histories, and worldviews, examining your biases about people from other cultures, and intentionally listening to other people tell their stories. Questions for self-reflection include the following examples.

How did your parents/caregivers feel about different racial, ethnic, or religious groups?

What did your parents/caregivers, loved ones, educators, and peers communicate about different racial, ethnic, and religious groups with their words and actions?

What are some assumptions about racial, ethnic, and religious groups that you learned in school? Was there a lack of information about groups? Whose history was the focus in the curriculum?

Are there some groups whom you shied away from and/or actively avoided? Why?

3. Advocate against anti-Arabism and Islamophobia

Islamophobia is a form of bigotry targeted at Muslims and more generally, those perceived as Arabs. As aforementioned, Arabs and Arab Americans are immensely diverse yet within the social stratification in U.S. contexts have been racialized. There is an underlying assumption that both Arabs and Muslims are a singular group, contributing to vast over-generalizing, stereotypes, and discrimination. As defined by the Council on American–Islamic relations, “Islamophobia is closed-minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims. An Islamophobe is an individual who holds a closed-minded view of Islam and promotes prejudice against or hatred of Muslims.” A stereotype is that all Muslims are Arabs, and that Arabs are “terrorists.” For example, on April 19, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols; however, the early widespread false speculation was that “Arab terrorists” had bombed the building. There are many stereotypes concerning Arabs that are reinforced by public discourse. Some action steps towards advocacy, allyship, and advancing social justice include the following examples.

Educate others about anti-Arabism and Islamophobia bigotry by talking with others, sharing information on social media, and helping to organize awareness, advocacy, and coalition building.

Continue to learn about biases experienced by those who identify as Arab and Muslim, and intentionally reflect on your own biases.

Recognize, engage, and promote intersectionality towards coalition building. Solidarity means centering those most affected by systemic oppression and advocating for the intersection of identities.

Rowan University Organizations:

Arabic Culture Club: The student organization is new on campus, with a goal of embracing and celebrating Arabic culture. It is not required to know the Arabic language to join. Meeting schedules have not been solidified yet. Please email the club advisor, Professor Tarek Mousa, at mousa@rowan.edu for more information.

Rowan University Community of Support:

Student clubs to join include the Women of Color Alliance, Men of Color Alliance, Minority Association of Premedical Students, International Club, and Muslim Student Association.

Women of Color Collective (WCC): WCC aims to build community among women, womyn, and womxn of color on campus. Through WCC, women, womyn, and womxn of color will gain a network to share their stories and provide support for challenges and successes they experience in their daily lives. WCC is for all women, womyn, and womxn of color across campus. The spring semester theme is “Love and Its Many Types and Facets.” Please contact SJICR for virtual meeting dates and details.

RU Student Diversity Committee: Rowan University PhD and MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling students and student clinicians who may be seeking peer support, and who identify as BIPOC, are invited to join the RU Student Diversity Committee. Please contact Danika Charles at charle65@students.rowan.edu for virtual meetings dates and details.

For all student complaints involving discrimination and harassment, please visit go.rowan.edu/titlevi

Wellness Center: All Rowan University students are encouraged to access mental health resources and support through the Wellness Center, by calling 856.256.4333 or emailing wellnesscenter@rowan.edu 

Employee Advisory Service: All Rowan University faculty and staff are encouraged to access mental health resources and support by contacting the Employee Advisory Service. Schedule a session by calling 1.866.327.9133

Resources for Continued Learning:

Websites:

Teach MidEast is an educational outreach initiative developed to provide educators a foundation in teaching critical, complex subject matter. It is part of the Middle East Policy Council.

The Qatar Foundation International offers classroom-ready interactive tools, lesson plans, and activities focused on the history and culture of the Arabic world, and the Arabic language. Resources are available in the language of English, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, and German.

The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services is a human services organization dedicated to the Arab American community. Its National Outreach Department includes the Arab American National Museum, offering virtual tours for educators focused on immigration, debunking stereotypes, and identity, and trainings and presentations on cultural competency.

The American–Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is a civil rights organization dedicated to defending the rights of people of Arab descent. The organization welcomes the participation of all people, from all racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

Articles:

Alsaidi, S., Velez, B. L., Smith, L., Jacob, A., & Salem, N. (2021). “Arab, brown, and other”: Voices of Muslim Arab American women on identity, discrimination, and well-being. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Hashem, H. M., & Awad, G. H. (2021). Religious Identity, Discrimination, and Psychological Distress Among Muslim and Christian Arab Americans. Journal of Religion and Health, 1-13.

AlAmmar, L. (2021). On the Language of Revolution Ten Years After the Arab Spring. Literary Hub.

Lalami, L. (2020). I’m a Muslim and Arab American. Will I Ever Be an Equal Citizen?. The New York Times Magazine.

Lalami, L. (2020). Bright Stars: The unfulfilled promise of American citizenship. Harper’s.

Osman, N. (2019). Social media and the Middle East: The women who are leading the way. Middle East Eye.

Najjar, K., Naser, S. C., & Clonan-Roy, K. (2019). Experiences of Arab heritage youth in US schools and impact on identity development. School Psychology International, 40(3), 251-274.

Shammas, D. (2017). Underreporting Discrimination Among Arab American and Muslim American Community College Students: Using Focus Groups to Unravel the Ambiguities Within the Survey Data. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 11(1), 99-123.

Husain, A., & Howard, S. (2017). Religious Microaggressions: A Case Study of Muslim Americans. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 26(1-2), 139-152.

Abuelezam, N. N., El-Sayed, A. M., & Galea, S. (2017). Arab American Health in a Racially Charged US. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 52(6), 810-812.

Koura, F. (2016). Hijab in the Western Workplace: Exploring Islamic Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Discrimination. Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Science, 4(2), 80-88.

Padela, A. I., Adam, H., Ahmad, M., Hosseinian, Z., & Curlin, F. (2016). Religious identity and workplace discrimination: A national survey of American Muslim physicians. AJOB Empirical Bioethics, 7(3), 149-159.

Gaddis, S. M., & Ghoshal, R. (2015). Arab American Housing Discrimination, Ethnic Competition, and the Contact Hypothesis. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 660(1), 282-299.

Bazian, H. (2015). The Islamophobia Industry and the Demonization of Palestine: Implications for American Studies. American Quarterly, 67(4), 1057-1066.

Videos:

NYUAD Institute. (2020, April 25). Walking Through Fire: A Conversation with Nawal Saadawi [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvzTus88xho

TEDx Talks. (2019, May 9). Go against the flow: Samar Salim Karama [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_BuRzaKQGE 

BBC Ideas. (2019, April 30). Orientalism and power: When will we stop stereotyping people? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZST6qnRR1mY 

What Design Can Do. (2018, June 27). Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (AJ+) on redesigning journalism [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAbcKX8xHDs&t=49s  

What Design Can Do. (2018, December 18). Design activism in a meaningful way: Ahmed Shihab-Eldin [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_eB1hi6RA8 

TEDx Talks. (2018, October 17). How I’m using LEGO to teach Arabic: Ghada Wali [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZe3zcNoIKk 

AJ+. (2017, August 10). These Arab Female Artists Are Challenging Stereotypes [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyvDIQN1o5o 

Al Jazeera English. (2017, March 2). Framed: The Politics of Stereotypes in News [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QYrAqrpshw 

TEDx Talks. (2016, December 14). The Muslim on the airplane: Amal Kassir [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIAm1g_Vgn0 

TEDx Talks. (2016, December 5). Islamophobia killed my brother. Let’s end the hate. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiEQmcZi8cM 

TED. (2011, February 4). Suheir Hammad: Poems of war, peace, women, power [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAj1hsXp18c 

Books:

Said, E. (1999). Out of Place. New York: Random House Inc.

Adnan, E. (2005). In the Heart of Another Country. City Lights Publishers.

Lagnado, L. (2012). The Arrogant Years: One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn. HarperCollins Publishers.

Abu-Lughod, L. (2015). Do Muslim Women Need Saving?. Harvard University Press.

Handel, N. (Ed.). (2015). The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology. Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated.

El Saadawi, N. (2015). Woman at Point Zero. Bloomsbury Academic.

Daulatzai, S., & Rana, J. (Eds.). (2018). With Stones in Our Hands: Writings on Muslims, Racism, and Empire. University of Minnesota Press.

Mooro, A. (2019). The Greater Freedom: Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes. Amazon Publishing.

Hankir, Z. (Ed.). (2019). Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World. Penguin Books.

Hayoun, M. (2019). When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History. The New Press.

Foda, O. D. (2019). Egypt’s Beer: Stella, Identity, and the Modern State. University of Texas Press.

Kalla, J. (2019). Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother’s Kitchen. White Lion Publishing.

Lalami, L. (2020). Conditional Citizens: Belonging in America. Pantheon Books.

Nye, N. S. (2020). Never in a Hurry: Essays on People and Places. University of South Carolina Press.