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March 17, 2021

President’s Statement: Anti-Racism & Violence Against Asians

AIMC, Berkeley’s President Yasuo Tanaka issued the following statement today (March 17th, 2021):

AIMC Berkeley stands in solidarity with the Asian & Asian American community and denounces the disturbing rise in race-based hate crimes towards members of this community. We are heartbroken by the violence perpetrated against Asian women in Atlanta yesterday, and condemn the xenophobic and racist behavior that has been increasing at an alarming rate. Many of our beloved teachers & supervisors are Asian elders; we are particularly disturbed the targeting of Asian elders in racist attacks across the country & particularly here in the Bay Area. We acknowledge that while we are seeing a relative increase in violence, prejudice and crimes against Asian people in America is not a new phenomenon.

We stand with our students, faculty members, staff, and alumni of Asian heritage. We recognize the history of oppression and racism against Asians in this country, as well as the pervasive and damaging impact it has had across generations. We are dedicated to change and will continue to support our Asian and Asian American community members, as well as members of all communities who have suffered from the effects of prejudice and hate.

We owe our community updates about the specific steps taken since the announcement of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd & Breonna Taylor. We recognize that the struggle against racism and injustice is an ongoing, long-term commitment. Our efforts to date include:

  • Establishment of a Diversity Scholarship
  • Establishment of a Diversity Grant for Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) initiatives
  • Lunch & Learn presentation by Dr. Tenisha Dandridge on increasing BIPOC access to care
  • Screening of revolutionary Acupuncture history documentary “Dope is Death”
  • Cultural Humility training led by India Harville for all current Student Interns
  • Mandatory “Decolonizing the Heart and Mind” staff training on intergenerational trauma and the legacy of white supremacy with Dr. Tone Rawlings
  • Integration of Dr. Tone Rawling’s “Decolonizing the Heart and Mind” workshop on intergenerational trauma & white supremacy into the curriculum
  • Two part lecture series on Health Justice & Chinese Medicine by Dr. Tamsin Lee & Influential Point (coming Spring 2021)
  • Curriculum review to identify courses and areas where JEDI topics can be explored

We are committed to a vision and practice of East Asian Medicines that respects & honors the histories, cultures, & peoples that birthed them. We are committed to continuing to teach the history of Chinese & Japanese medicine that our school was founded upon, and to continue to learn about the ways that White Supremacy & cultural appropriation have shaped the field we are a part of. We are committed to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within our school community and within the field of Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine.

We are concerned about the reinforcement of White Supremacy by the institutional leadership of our field. We call on ACAOM, NCCAOM, the California Acupuncture Board, CSOMA, fellow schools of Acupuncture, and other influential & powerful organizations in the field to reflect on the violence perpetrated against Asians & Asian-Americans in recent history and to commit themselves to anti-racism in all its forms. In particular, we hope to see a future free of the slur “Oriental” in our field, and a joint effort to identify actionable ways we can work together to fight systemic racism and oppression that exists at multiple levels.

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