Task Force on Support to Asian and Asian American Students and Scholars

In April 2020, Penn established the Task Force on Support to Asian and Asian-American Students and Scholars to coordinate and enhance support to members of the Penn community experiencing increased stigma, bias, discrimination, and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. These incidents have increased alarmingly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially against people of Asian backgrounds. In March 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned that "Hate crime incidents against Asian-Americans will likely surge." Data collected by an Asian-American advocacy organization, meanwhile, record over 1,700 reports of anti-Asian behavior from mid-March to mid-May 2020, and nearly 60% of Asian-Americans in a recent Pew Research Center survey agreed that anti-Asian behavior had become more commonplace since the onset of the pandemic. 

The Task Force is committed to raising awareness about these concerns, to increasing reporting and redress of incidents that impact Penn community members, and to helping the Penn community navigate these difficult challenges through educational and programmatic activities. Please click on the links below to learn more about the Task Force and its initiatives, as well as to join our Community Discussion Series.

Please also join our FlattenTheHate campaign by downloading the graphic and featuring it on your social media accounts!

FlattenTheHate

 

About the Task Force

The Task Force is co-chaired by Associate Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Amy Gadsden and Executive Director of Operations and Chief of Staff of the Division of Public Safety Kathleen Shields Anderson.

Objectives and Initiatives

The objectives of the Task Force are to:

  1. Coordinate University support for Asian and Asian-American members of the Penn community
  2. Signal the University’s determination to combat stigma, discrimination, and bias
  3. Provide a platform for outreach to concerned Penn community members

Ongoing initiatives include efforts to raise awareness of support resources that Penn can provide to those who have experienced anti-Asian bias and ways to report these incidents; a campaign called FlattenTheHate that aims to raise awareness of anti-Asian bias and encourage all members of the University community to stand against it; and an events series

For more information please contact global@upenn.edu

Statement of Values

“We strongly support the Asian and Asian-American members of our community. It is essential that our campus – and our city – offer an environment in which everyone can thrive and do their best work." 

-- University Provost Wendell Pritchett 

Penn is a University that, in the words of President Amy Gutmann, is committed to “achieving eminence through diversity.” As members of a scholarly community that draws its strength from diversity, we celebrate and stand with students, faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, fellows and other affiliates of all backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all Penn community members in meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who may suffer stigma, bias, discrimination, abuse and even violence. 

The coronavirus does not discriminate, and neither should we. Members of the Penn community, especially those of Asian backgrounds, have experienced stigma, discrimination, bias, and abuse both before and during the pandemic. We’re all in this together, and we must take a stand both against racism and COVID-19.  

Members (as of June 2020):

  1. Rudie Altamirano, Penn Global (International Student and Scholar Services) 

  1. Kathleen Anderson, Division of Public Safety 

  1. Pablo Cerdera, Provost’s Office (Office of Student Conduct) 

  1. Amy Gadsden, Provost’s Office (Global Initiatives) 

  1. Yuhong He, Counseling and Psychological Services 

  1. Kendra Hypolite, Penn Family Center 

  1. Anita Mastroieni, Provost’s Office (Education) 

  1. Joann Mitchell, President’s Office 

  1. Scott Moore, Provost’s Office (Global Initiatives) 

  1. Julie Lyzinski Nettleton, Provost’s Office (Office of Student Conduct) 

  1. Gary Purpura, Provost’s Office (Education) 

  1. Josie Rook, Provost’s Office (Research) 

  1. MaryAnne Timmins, Perelman School of Medicine (Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs) 

  1. Peter Van Do (Pan-Asian American Community House) 

  1. Ryan Villanueva, Penn Global (International Student and Scholar Services) 

  1. Leigh Whitaker, Office of Government and Community Affairs 

  1. Pat Brennan, Division of Public Safety 

  1. Paige Whittaker, Division of Public Safety 

  1. Angela Cabrera, Division of Human Resources 

Resources and Reporting for Hate and Bias Incidents

The University of Pennsylvania is an inclusive community in which we learn from the research, ideas, and experiences of other people on campus and around the world.  We also value and respect the dignity and worth of all members of our community. 

When a member of our community is impacted by actions counter to our values such as an incident motivated by bias or hate, Penn provides comprehensive support and options for reporting and resolution. See below for information related to support and reporting.

 

Support Resources

Members of the Penn community can receive confidential ongoing support from any of the following offices, all of which are completely confidential:

Division of Public Safety -- Special Services (For faculty, staff, and students)

Office of the Chaplain (For faculty, students, and staff)

Counseling and Psychological Services (For students)

Employee Assistance Program (For faculty and staff)

Support resources are available regardless of the time or location of the incident.

 

Additional Resources

The following offices are also available to listen, provide options, and make appropriate referrals:

Office of the Ombuds (Confidential resource for students, faculty, staff)

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center (Confidential resource for students, faculty, staff)

Student Health Service (Confidential resource for students)

International Student and Scholar Services (Non-confidential resource for faculty, students, post-doctoral and visiting scholars)

Pan-Asian American Community House (Non-confidential resource for students)

 

Report a Hate or Bias Incident

If you feel your safety is in danger, please call Penn’s Division of Public Safety (or 911 if you are away from Penn) immediately.

If you have been impacted by a hate or bias-motivated incident there are formal reporting options available. Those options include reporting an incident to Penn's Division of Public Safety and/or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

We encourage community members to promptly report these incidents to aid in Penn’s ability to provide a swift response. However, it is important to note that you may report these incidences at any time.

Not sure where to start? Contact Special Services in the Division of Public Safety  24-hour helpline at 215.898.6600 or by email at Specialservices@publicsafety.upenn.edu  Special Services is able to assist all Penn students, faculty, and staff regardless of school/center affiliation.

 

Join our Community Discussion Series

Resources to Prevent and Respond to Anti-Asian Behavior

  • Ways to Avoid and Counter Stigma: Penn Medicine’s Center for Health Equity Advancement has developed a fact sheet on Stigma, Language, and COVID-19. Key points include: 

    • Use the official term for the novel coronavirus and the disease that it causes (COVID-19). Don’t attach locations, countries, or ethnicities to the virus to avoid stigmatization. 
    • Use “people-first” language when talking about the virus. Refer to “people who have COVID-19” or “people who are recovering from COVID-19,” instead of “COVID-19 patients” or “coronavirus victims.” 
    • Use neutral, technical terms like “acquiring” or “contracting” when talking about COVID-19 instead of those that can carry a negative implication, like “infecting others” or “spreading the virus,” which may imply guilt or blame.   
  • Ways to stay safe with Penn's free 24/7 and enhanced Walking Escort Program: Public Safety Security Officers will walk with Penn students, faculty, and staff anywhere in the Penn Patrol Zone. The Free Walking Escort service extends between 30th and 43rd Streets, and Market to Baltimore Avenue 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It also extends west to 50th Street, and north/south from Spring Garden to Woodland Avenue, between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m. via the University’s partnership with the University City District Ambassador Program by calling the same phone number.  

    • Extended Services: Walking Escorts will be on-site and available to provide safe, socially-distanced escorts daily from Sansom Place East and on Locust Walk between the high rises from 11am to 1pm and from 3:30pm to 6pm. This is in addition to our traditional on-call 24/7 walking escort program. 

  • University support resources: Support resources for those who have experienced bias incidents include Counseling and Psychological Services , the Office of the Chaplain, and, for University faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program.  University community members who have experienced bias incidents, or wish to express solidarity with those who have, are also invited to join Multilingual Restorative Practice Circles facilitated by University staff. Please see our Community Discussion Series page for more information. 

  • External Training and Educational Resources: Note: links below are provided for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement by the University. 
  • City and State Government Resources: Hate crimes and bias incidents that occur within the City of Philadelphia can be reported to the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) at 215-686-2856 or pchr@phila.gov . Anonymous reports can be made to PCHR in any language. Discrimination in employment, education, public accommodations, housing, and commercial property transactions is illegal in Pennsylvania and can be reported to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.    

 

 

About the Task Force

The Task Force is co-chaired by Associate Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Amy Gadsden and Executive Director of Operations and Chief of Staff of the Division of Public Safety Kathleen Shields Anderson.

Objectives and Initiatives

The objectives of the Task Force are to:

  1. Coordinate University support for Asian and Asian-American members of the Penn community
  2. Signal the University’s determination to combat stigma, discrimination, and bias
  3. Provide a platform for outreach to concerned Penn community members

Ongoing initiatives include efforts to raise awareness of support resources that Penn can provide to those who have experienced anti-Asian bias and ways to report these incidents; a campaign called FlattenTheHate that aims to raise awareness of anti-Asian bias and encourage all members of the University community to stand against it; and an events series

For more information please contact global@upenn.edu

Statement of Values

“We strongly support the Asian and Asian-American members of our community. It is essential that our campus – and our city – offer an environment in which everyone can thrive and do their best work." 

-- University Provost Wendell Pritchett 

Penn is a University that, in the words of President Amy Gutmann, is committed to “achieving eminence through diversity.” As members of a scholarly community that draws its strength from diversity, we celebrate and stand with students, faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, fellows and other affiliates of all backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all Penn community members in meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who may suffer stigma, bias, discrimination, abuse and even violence. 

The coronavirus does not discriminate, and neither should we. Members of the Penn community, especially those of Asian backgrounds, have experienced stigma, discrimination, bias, and abuse both before and during the pandemic. We’re all in this together, and we must take a stand both against racism and COVID-19.  

Members (as of June 2020):

  1. Rudie Altamirano, Penn Global (International Student and Scholar Services) 

  1. Kathleen Anderson, Division of Public Safety 

  1. Pablo Cerdera, Provost’s Office (Office of Student Conduct) 

  1. Amy Gadsden, Provost’s Office (Global Initiatives) 

  1. Yuhong He, Counseling and Psychological Services 

  1. Kendra Hypolite, Penn Family Center 

  1. Anita Mastroieni, Provost’s Office (Education) 

  1. Joann Mitchell, President’s Office 

  1. Scott Moore, Provost’s Office (Global Initiatives) 

  1. Julie Lyzinski Nettleton, Provost’s Office (Office of Student Conduct) 

  1. Gary Purpura, Provost’s Office (Education) 

  1. Josie Rook, Provost’s Office (Research) 

  1. MaryAnne Timmins, Perelman School of Medicine (Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs) 

  1. Peter Van Do (Pan-Asian American Community House) 

  1. Ryan Villanueva, Penn Global (International Student and Scholar Services) 

  1. Leigh Whitaker, Office of Government and Community Affairs 

  1. Pat Brennan, Division of Public Safety 

  1. Paige Whittaker, Division of Public Safety 

  1. Angela Cabrera, Division of Human Resources 

Resources and Reporting for Hate and Bias Incidents

The University of Pennsylvania is an inclusive community in which we learn from the research, ideas, and experiences of other people on campus and around the world.  We also value and respect the dignity and worth of all members of our community. 

When a member of our community is impacted by actions counter to our values such as an incident motivated by bias or hate, Penn provides comprehensive support and options for reporting and resolution. See below for information related to support and reporting.

 

Support Resources

Members of the Penn community can receive confidential ongoing support from any of the following offices, all of which are completely confidential:

Division of Public Safety -- Special Services (For faculty, staff, and students)

Office of the Chaplain (For faculty, students, and staff)

Counseling and Psychological Services (For students)

Employee Assistance Program (For faculty and staff)

Support resources are available regardless of the time or location of the incident.

 

Additional Resources

The following offices are also available to listen, provide options, and make appropriate referrals:

Office of the Ombuds (Confidential resource for students, faculty, staff)

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center (Confidential resource for students, faculty, staff)

Student Health Service (Confidential resource for students)

International Student and Scholar Services (Non-confidential resource for faculty, students, post-doctoral and visiting scholars)

Pan-Asian American Community House (Non-confidential resource for students)

 

Report a Hate or Bias Incident

If you feel your safety is in danger, please call Penn’s Division of Public Safety (or 911 if you are away from Penn) immediately.

If you have been impacted by a hate or bias-motivated incident there are formal reporting options available. Those options include reporting an incident to Penn's Division of Public Safety and/or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

We encourage community members to promptly report these incidents to aid in Penn’s ability to provide a swift response. However, it is important to note that you may report these incidences at any time.

Not sure where to start? Contact Special Services in the Division of Public Safety  24-hour helpline at 215.898.6600 or by email at Specialservices@publicsafety.upenn.edu  Special Services is able to assist all Penn students, faculty, and staff regardless of school/center affiliation.

 

Join our Community Discussion Series

Resources to Prevent and Respond to Anti-Asian Behavior

  • Ways to Avoid and Counter Stigma: Penn Medicine’s Center for Health Equity Advancement has developed a fact sheet on Stigma, Language, and COVID-19. Key points include: 

    • Use the official term for the novel coronavirus and the disease that it causes (COVID-19). Don’t attach locations, countries, or ethnicities to the virus to avoid stigmatization. 
    • Use “people-first” language when talking about the virus. Refer to “people who have COVID-19” or “people who are recovering from COVID-19,” instead of “COVID-19 patients” or “coronavirus victims.” 
    • Use neutral, technical terms like “acquiring” or “contracting” when talking about COVID-19 instead of those that can carry a negative implication, like “infecting others” or “spreading the virus,” which may imply guilt or blame.   
  • Ways to stay safe with Penn's free 24/7 and enhanced Walking Escort Program: Public Safety Security Officers will walk with Penn students, faculty, and staff anywhere in the Penn Patrol Zone. The Free Walking Escort service extends between 30th and 43rd Streets, and Market to Baltimore Avenue 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It also extends west to 50th Street, and north/south from Spring Garden to Woodland Avenue, between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m. via the University’s partnership with the University City District Ambassador Program by calling the same phone number.  

    • Extended Services: Walking Escorts will be on-site and available to provide safe, socially-distanced escorts daily from Sansom Place East and on Locust Walk between the high rises from 11am to 1pm and from 3:30pm to 6pm. This is in addition to our traditional on-call 24/7 walking escort program. 

  • University support resources: Support resources for those who have experienced bias incidents include Counseling and Psychological Services , the Office of the Chaplain, and, for University faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program.  University community members who have experienced bias incidents, or wish to express solidarity with those who have, are also invited to join Multilingual Restorative Practice Circles facilitated by University staff. Please see our Community Discussion Series page for more information. 

  • External Training and Educational Resources: Note: links below are provided for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement by the University. 
  • City and State Government Resources: Hate crimes and bias incidents that occur within the City of Philadelphia can be reported to the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) at 215-686-2856 or pchr@phila.gov . Anonymous reports can be made to PCHR in any language. Discrimination in employment, education, public accommodations, housing, and commercial property transactions is illegal in Pennsylvania and can be reported to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.