Response to COVID-19

On March 30, 2020, the BRIDGE Steering Committee sent a letter to the Penn State Psychology Community in response to the increase in anti-Asian discrimination and harassment.

BRIDGE is committed to combating the racism and xenophobia experienced by Asian and Asian-American students and community members within and outside of the Psychology Department in response to COVID-19. We are committed to ensuring that every member of our community (be they student, staff, or faculty) feel safe in the workplace and in the surrounding community. We are committed to upholding the values of our department and the Pennsylvania State University and celebrate the diversity within our department. We are concerned, as many of you are as well, about these reports of discrimination and violence, especially as they affect those in our own community.

To Report Instances of Anti-Asian Discrimination and Harassment

BRIDGE Internal Reporting of Discrimination during COVID-19
If you have experienced or witnessed any discrimination, harassment, and/or violence as a result of the increasing racism and xenophobia resulting from rhetoric surrounding CoVID-19, this is a space for you to report those instances. Information that is reported to BRIDGE through this form will be used to alert the Psychology community of instances of discrimination in the State College area as well as to track if any particular areas seem to be spaces where more discrimination is occurring. This will allow BRIDGE to alert others and, when appropriate and possible, work with locations to eliminate the discrimination that is occurring. In addition, BRIDGE can help file official reports if that is desired. Please note that this information will not be collected as study data and nothing will be shared with personal, identifiable information.

Link to report: https://forms.gle/g3rPpmJ7aAKMu9iC9
University Reporting*: https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/support-safety-conduct/victim-survivor-support-advocacy/reporting-options
*Please note that BRIDGE can help with reporting incidents to the University and/or the State College Police Department.

If you have questions, please contact Nathaniel Schermerhorn (njs5478@psu.edu).

In addition, anyone may make an anonymous report of prohibited conduct by calling the Ethics and Compliance Hotline at 1-800-560-1637. Reports may also be filed online at https://secure.ethicspoint.com/

There is also a national tracker of Anti-Asian Discrimination that you can report incidents to.

BRIDGE “Buddy System”

In response to COVID-19 related xenophobia and a rise in anti-Asian sentiments and hate crimes, BRIDGE is organizing a sign-up sheet to facilitate a pairing process between those who need help and those who are willing to help in the following capacities:
•Groceries and shopping for necessities (either accompanying you or helping you pick things up)
• Providing a buddy for walks or exercise (either while maintaining social distancing, or through a virtual walk by video-chatting with you while you are out and about)
•Assisting with reporting racist incidents (process requisite paperwork, answer follow-up questions) –support individuals will be trained to help navigate this process

To request: https://tinyurl.com/BRIDGEcovidrequest
To support: https://tinyurl.com/BRIDGEcovidsupport

If you have questions, please contact Natalia Van Doren (nataliavandoren@gmail.com), Stacey Levan (sls217@psu.edu) or Katie Lewis (kal40@psu.edu)

Non-BRIDGE Events

The MGH Center for Cross-Cultural Student Emotional Wellness COVID-19 Webinar Series
This is a free COVID-19 educational webinar series focused on the emotional well-being of Asian and Asian American students. There are different target audiences for each webinar including Asian American students, international students, parents, schools, and community members. Attendance is free and open to all who are interested. Separated registration for each webinar is required.

Past Events + Notes

Conversation Hour: Race in the Time of COVID-19
Monday, April 20 at 4 PM
Join us for a conversation hour to talk about issues of race during this unprecedented time in the United States. We will discuss the rise of xenophobia and racism in response to the pandemic on a national level, and also discuss instances and responses at our local level. We want this to be a safe space for people to share their opinions and experiences.

Notes from this event are available here.

Racism and Xenophobia and Social Distancing: A Conversation on Advocacy
Guest Speaker: Dr. Seria Chatters

Thursday, April 23 at 12:00 PM

During these unprecedented times, we can be inclined and should focus on ourselves and those we serve. Our focus on issues related to equity and social justice can take a backseat. In this session, we will discuss how we can continue to enact tenets of bystander intervention during this age of social distancing. We will also discuss our observations and ways we can stay involved.

Dr. Seria Chatters is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Counselor Education in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at The Pennsylvania State University and the Director of Equity and Inclusivity of the State College Area School District.Her research interests focus on the impact of diversity on interpersonal violence with a specific focus on the prevention of bullying and harassment in secondary, post-secondary, and work settings. Additionally, her research focuses on how prejudice and bullying intersect, better known as bias-based bullying, and how different aspects of diversity such as ethnicity, race, disability, LGBT, religion, poverty, and veteran status impact experiences of bullying, cyber-bullying, and interpersonal violence.

If you are interested in viewing a recording of this meeting, or accessing the Powerpoint slides, please contact Anna Zhou (amzhou@psu.edu).

General Resources:

Anti-Asian Discrimination and Harassment

Racial Disparities in Health

Impact on Immigration

Bystander Intervention Resources