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Back to Confronting and Combating Racism

Virulent Hate: Anti-Asian Racism and Resistance during the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the U.S., the first half of 2020 saw a sharp rise in hate incidents targeting Asian Americans, who have been scapegoated for the novel coronavirus. This project, which is a collaboration with the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center and its community partners, aims to improve public understanding of contemporary anti-Asian racism and resistance. To study the surge in anti-Asian hate incidents during the Covid-19 pandemic, a team of student researchers at the University of Michigan and at universities across the country will work together to gather and analyze data about hate incidents reported in news media, with the goal of understanding what types of hate incidents have happened, where and when they have occurred, and who has been affected. In addition, the research team will study how Asian American community organizations and government institutions have responded to the rise in anti-Asian hate incidents. Researchers will document and analyze the forms of organizing, protest, and resistance undertaken by Asian Americans, as well as the policy changes for which Asian Americans have advocated at the local, state, and national levels. The research team will share its findings through a public-facing digital platform, which will feature an interactive map, analysis, and other resources that will inform public policy, guide the grassroots advocacy and activism of Asian American community organizations, and support anti-racism education projects.

Melissa Borja, assistant professor in the Department of American Culture and core faculty in the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program, University of Michigan