Quaker Voluntary Service, like so many around the world, is concerned with the impact that this global pandemic can have on our societies. One of the things we are most concerned about is the anti-Asian sentiment fueled by the ignorance and fear that members of our community and others around the United States are witness to.

“Stigmatizing immigrants and the people impacted by illnesses is a prime example of victim blaming as well as an excuse to further xenophobia within a society that was built upon a foundation of prejudice and racism.”
– Preeti Juturu

QVS has sought to be a more inclusive organization and to that end we know that the Fellows of Color we have in our 5 cities may sometimes be wrestling with being in White dominated spaces that would include our Quaker Meetings, some work spaces, and perhaps even the cities we operate in. While we want to be supportive of all of our Fellows of Color we know that at this time our attention should fall on those with Asian heritage as their communities are under siege, and as the long-term impact of this current crisis is unknown.

We openly condemn the labeling of Coronavirus / COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or “kung fu virus”. We categorically oppose the use of racist language to describe the disease and the xenophobia associated with that language. We strongly encourage our partners, our supporters, our alumni, and our followers to confront instances of racism and xenophobia and to think about ways that they can better support anti-racist actions in their own communities.

We also ask that folks continue to educate themselves, and share resources that will encourage actions of compassion, change, and solidarity with folks of Asian descent. Comment below if you have additional resources, and please share this with your networks.

The featured art is from Asian-American artist and writer Rose Wong. ‘From model minority to yellow peril’ — I watched the fear spread as public perception of me shifted… With everything that is happening surrounding the coronavirus, we all have to stay vigilant on keeping informed. -Rose Wong

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