Studies Identify Steps to Support Asian and Asian American Students Amid Current Forms of Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only shone a light on the longstanding, structural inequities at the root of our education systems — it has also deepened them. For Asian and Asian American communities, COVID-19 also amplified and stoked anti-Asian racism and hate, including a staggering 9,000+ incidents since the start of the pandemic.

This school year, “back to normal” isn’t good enough. Not for any student — and not for Asian and Asian American students.

Asian and Asian American students deserve learning environments that counter racist bullying, harassment, and violence. Two new publications from our Research in Brief series identify tangible ways school, college, and university leaders can welcome students back to campus by addressing anti-Asian racism and creating more positive learning environments:

  • Collecting more comprehensive data on school bullying, harassment, and victimization disaggregated by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) ethnic subgroups
  • Disaggregating other data on diverse subgroups of AAPI students
  • Investing in culturally sustaining mental health resources and curriculum at the K-12 level and Asian American Studies departments, programs, and centers in higher education
  • Creating task forces to think strategically about racism and xenophobia towards Asian and Asian American students


Note regarding terminology: Precise descriptors of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) groups that reflect their distinct identifies and experiences are essential to combatting the racism these communities face. The terms used in these briefs differ because the topics they address differ. In “Anti-Asian Bullying and Harassment: Symptoms of Racism in K-12 Schools during COVID-19″, the authors use “Asian American” and “AAPI” to reflect how bullying and harassment data is collected and reported. In “A Racial Reckoning: Anti-Asian Racism and Exclusion in Higher Education”, we use “Asian and Asian American” because the piece discusses forms of racism that specifically affect Asian groups.