UB SON statement on anti-Asian violence

The University at Buffalo (UB) School of Nursing stands in solidarity with our university community and with national and international nursing and health care organizations in condemning the horrific acts and harmful discourse against our Asian and Asian American family, friends, colleagues and community members.

An escalation of anti-Asian discourse and violence throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the recent, horrific violence against Asian and Asian American women in Atlanta, New York, and across the country, is a tragic reminder that systemic racism is a public health crisis. These incidences of hate and violence come at a great cost to the health and well-being of Asian and Asian American individuals, detrimentally impacting their mental health and precipitating mental and physical trauma. These experiences and their aftermath further exacerbate health inequities and disparities, and stunt the ability of individuals and communities to prosper and meet their full potential. Though these incidences have intensified throughout the pandemic, they are part of a long history of prejudice, discrimination and violence that is deeply rooted in white privilege, white supremacy and misogyny that continue to plague our country and devastate Asian and Asian American individuals and communities.

Hate and discrimination result in deep and painful divisions in our nation that hold very real implications for the health and well-being of individuals and communities within every institution of society. Hate and discrimination stifle progress and growth. Hate and discrimination cause deep and profound mental, spiritual and physical harm to all they touch.

Hate and discrimination have no place here: not in our neighborhoods, not in our classrooms, not in our practices, and not in our hearts.

As nurses and health care professionals, we are charged with protecting our patients and the health and safety of our communities. As educators, we are responsible for the safety and success of our students; and as researchers, we seek solutions to the physical and mental health issues that ravage nations across the globe. Therefore, it is our duty to continue to combat these malicious forces that threaten the lives and stability of our communities. Health equity – and all true justice, equity, diversity and inclusion – cannot truly exist in society until systemic racism, hate and discrimination are eradicated and we reckon with our nation’s destructive path of hate.

At UB’s School of Nursing, we stand in solidarity with our Sisters and Brothers of every race, every creed, every ethnicity, every culture that is disenfranchised and harmed by these acts and the systems of hate and violence that sustain them. We stand on the side of love and learning and understanding, of self-examination, and of commitment -- not only to do no harm, but also to purposefully perpetuate what is right, and just, and good.

To our students and colleagues: We are here for you and we support you. If you feel unsafe, or if you need to talk, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our nursing faculty and staff.

Published April 1, 2021