Home Community News Ryerson faculty create resource to combat anti-Asian racism amid coronavirus pandemic

Ryerson faculty create resource to combat anti-Asian racism amid coronavirus pandemic

by Patrick Swadden

The Responding to Hate Toolkit will provide resources for victims of discrimination

The tool kit differentiates between hate crimes, hate incidents and acts of discrimination and provides resources for victims and witnesses. (Credit: Responding to Hate Toolkit)

A team of four prominent Asian Canadian leaders have developed the Responding to Hate Toolkit, a list of resources to combat anti-Asian racism due to its rise during the coronavirus pandemic.

The project team includes Ryerson chancellor Janice Fukakusa, Dean of Arts Pamela Sugiman, and Julia Shin Doi, general counsel and secretary of the Board of Governors and university privacy officer. It also includes Judge Maryka Omatsu, the first East Asian woman to be appointed a judge in Canada.

“Any instance of discrimination reported or unreported is terrible and troubling,” says Shin Doi. “The tool kit provides a What to Do and What to Consider tabs, which are helpful when considering action steps and there is also a link to other Hate Guides in different languages to support victims.”

Asian Canadians have been the target of a distressing surge in incidents of hate and discrimination since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Information from StatCan says Chinese, Koreans and southeast Asians are much more likely to experience discrimination or unfair treatment during the ongoing health crisis.

The tool kit provides information so victims can differentiate and respond to three kinds of hate: hate crimes, hate incidents and acts of discrimination. Hate crimes are defined by the Criminal Code of Canada, whereas hate incidents are non-criminal acts, and acts of discrimination are violations of human rights codes. According to the tool kit, each requires a different response.

“The tool kit will definitely raise awareness of the kinds of racism and I hope (it) deter(s) incidents,” adds Shin Doi.

This comes as Ryerson University has formed an advisory committee to combat anti-Asian racism, which Shin Doi will lead. The committee includes over a dozen Ryerson faculty members and researchers.

“This group reached out to the university to ask for our support in launching and creating awareness for this important project,” says Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi.

“They wanted also to make sure that people around the country or across the country are aware of this, so I was pleased to share the tool kit with all university presidents across Canada.”

The five-page Responding to Hate Toolkit PDF can be accessed here.

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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