Statement of solidarity with UTDRO's Asian Community - Dr. Liu
March 29, 2021
Dear UTDRO Community,
Last Tuesday, March 16, 2021, eight people were killed outside of Atlanta GA; six were Asian women. These events affect us all in different ways; as an Asian Canadian female, this made me feel both angry and vulnerable as a racialized woman. It is always difficult to comprehend these senseless acts of violence, but this has occurred on a background of increasing anti-Asian racism with Covid-19. There have been 1000 reported incidents of anti-Asian events in Canada over the past year, and Vancouver reported a 717% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes between 2019/20.
Asian Canadians are considered the “model minority” because we have “succeeded” by silently working hard and rarely complaining, but this belies the reality where many of us experience micro-aggression on a regular basis. We have all just learned to shrug them off, pretending that Canada is a non-racist society because of the federal government’s promotion of multi-culturalism. This type of passivity is no longer acceptable; we must call people out when we experience or witness micro-aggression of any form; racist or otherwise.
At UTDRO, we continue to promote zero-tolerance towards any form of discrimination or bias; we actively welcome diversity and plurality in race, ethnicity, religion, and sexuality. As we grieve with the families of the Asian-American women and others whose lives have been cut short meaninglessly, we must persevere to stamp out prejudice of all types within our community. To do nothing is to allow this malignancy to grow unchecked – leading to an environment no longer welcoming to our learners, our faculty, or to our patients.
If you experience any form of harassment or micro-aggression, know that we will help and support you. Dr. Danielle Rodin has been recently appointed as the UTDRO’s Director of Equity, Inclusion and Professionalism. Please read her statement, as well as those from other leaders in the University of Toronto community.
Dr. Fei-Fei Liu
Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology