Dear Won Community,
With the tragic Georgia shooting of Asian American women, other recent reports of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans being attacked in public, and the general increase in hate crimes over the last four years, I want to clearly state that Won Institute strongly denounces all forms of racism and discrimination.
We mourn for and stand with the victims of these crimes. Such incidents are not new in the United States, but this alarming rise is troubling. That is why we must recognize such hateful acts and condemn them – strongly.
These current events remind us of the troubled history of American racism and cause anxiety for many in our community: they are painful daily reminders of a long, sad history of anti-Asian discrimination.
As a community, we must stand together to face this problem. We should draw inspiration from our institution’s Won Buddhist roots to face ignorance, greed, and hate with wisdom, generosity, and loving-kindness. Giving tacit approval of stereotyping or racial biases by remaining silent undermines the foundation of equity, inclusion, and dignity that we value. Our words and actions are critically important to creating an equitable and multiracial democracy.
Addressing racism means having difficult conversations – and those conversations should not ignore the struggles of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, or international students and workers from Asia. I urge any member of the Won community who has experienced racism, discrimination, or harassment to contact our Title IX Coordinator Frederick Ranallo-Higgins ([email protected]) or any member of our new Equity Resolution Team ([email protected]). Violations of our non-discrimination policy are taken very seriously.
For those needing spiritual guidance or a private source to counsel with during this time, please consider reaching out to our Dharma Chaplain Hojin Park ([email protected]).
We encourage all those in our Acupuncture Medicine and Won Buddhist community, and the people of Philadelphia and the United States, to stand in solidarity with Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. We must speak when we see wrongdoing, and we must support one another.
We at Won Institute envision a world where all people realize their full potential unhindered – we demand no less.
With palms together,
Consider supporting the Asian and Pacific Islander American community through one of these organizations:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum