While the pandemic ravaged the country and social unrest gripped our cities, there has been growing fear among Asian-American communities as anti-Asian hate crimes have increased. According to Stop AAPI Hate, an Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) reporting center, more than 3,800 incidents have been reported in the last year. And with the recent mass shooting of Asian-American women in Atlanta, it is clear that action is overdue. As educators serving students from diverse Asian communities, it’s important to acknowledge the history of anti-Asian harassment and hate, then take steps to address these injustices.
Anti-racist educator Dena Simmons recently wrote in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes,
“We must remember racial justice and anti-bias work exist beyond a Black and white binary. The Asian, Indigenous, and Latinx communities must be a part of any work labeled ‘diverse,’ ‘culturally responsive,’ and ‘anti-racist.’”
We hope the list of resources we’ve gathered below can offer you a pathway towards personal understanding of the diverse experiences of Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, their histories, and their struggles. As you gain greater awareness, think about how you can build the kind of empathy among your students that has the chance to stop some of the injustice that we see.
11 Resources to Stop Anti-Asian Bias in Your Classroom
History of AAPI Communities in the US
I Am Asian American (Article)
Uncover the true diversity beneath the Asian American label including people from more than 18 countries of origin as well as numerous ethnic groups.
The Chinese Exclusion Act, PBS (Video, 9 min)
Examine the origin, history, and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here to become U.S. citizens.
Revisiting Japanese Internment on the 75th anniversary (Video, 4 min)
Ten weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt issued the order, allowing the government to incarcerate people they thought capable of aiding U.S. enemies in World War II. It led to the incarceration of more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent, many of them U.S. citizens.
Asian Americans, PBS (Video, 50 min episodes)
Told through intimate personal stories, this 5 part series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played. (Visit the Educator page for 30+ lesson plans based on the series.)
Confronting Bias Against AAPIs
A Conversation With Asian-Americans on Race (Video, 7 min)
This short film is part of a NYTimes series and features everyday people as they discuss issues of race and identity in America. The video provides students with an opportunity to see the world through a different lens.
What Is the Model Minority Myth? (Article)
The myth of the “model minority” is pervasive. It does real damage. And Asian American students aren’t the only ones it harms.
How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism (Article)
As COVID-19 infections have increased, so too has racism and xenophobia. This article outlines a four-step process for speaking up against bias-- Interrupt, Question, Educate, Echo.
Coronavirus and Infectious Racism (Lesson Plan)
This secondary learning activity will help expand students’ understanding of how the Coronavius pandemic has led to increased racism against people who are of Chinese or Asian descent, and what you can do about it.
Resources for Facilitating Dialogue on Race and Injustice
How to Teach Kids to Talk about Taboo Topics, TED (Video, 11 min)
Learn how educator, Liz Kleinrock, teaches kids to discuss taboo topics without fear -- because the best way to start solving social problems is to talk about them.
Addressing Anti-Asian Racism Through Restorative Dialogue (PDF Download)
This free resource utilizes restorative justice dialogue circles to reflect on and discuss the causes of anti-Asian racism.
Diverse Book Finder (Collection)
Help spark conversations and expose students to the lived experiences of Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) people through literature. Search the Diverse Book Finder collection for titles to meet your needs.
Asian American Leveled Texts (Collection)
View the searchable library of short texts offering a diverse mix of stories and perspectives aligned to the Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance) Social Justice Standards.
“There are so many beautiful books about so many beautiful humans, but do not read them only in response to tragic events. Read them all the time. Because so many beautiful people exist and our kids deserve to see all of them. All of the time.” --JessLifshitz (@Jess5th)
If you are looking for help to continue anti-bias anti-racist work in your classroom, we’ve got 2 great courses that provide the information, resources, and applicable strategies you need to make change in your classroom and school community.
Based on the text, Being the Change, by Sara K. Ahmed, the course will give you and your students the confidence, skills, and tools to explore tough questions and facilitate dialogue courageously in your learning environment. Covering topics like identity, bias, perspective-taking, and intent vs. impact, you will come away with specific lessons and strategies to help you nurture your students’ comprehension of social issues.
Talking about race, though challenging, is necessary, no matter your race, background, or comfort level. In this powerful course, you will examine your own racial socialization and learn about the complex history of race in America. Once you’ve made these critical connections between past and present, you will explore ways to facilitate productive dialogue around race and identity, and learn anti-biased/anti-racist approaches to classroom instruction.
Learners Edge Offers 100+ Self-Paced, Online,
Graduate Credit Continuing Education Courses for Teachers