Standing against anti-Asian hate and violence

When a part of our community is hurting, Duke Health steps forward to help heal. That’s what we do. Once again, we find our community in pain as we witness an alarming rise in violence against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Hate towards these groups has skyrocketed since the beginning of COVID-19, and leapt again in recent weeks. It is not just the killings in Atlanta. Just this month, an 83-year old Korean woman in White Plains, New York was spat on, punched and knocked unconscious. Thousands of similar incidents have taken place across our country.

Sadly, violence towards Asian Americans has a long history in the United States. The legacy persists, and today 76 percent of Asian Americans report feeling worry and fear about anti-Asian hate crimes, harassment and discrimination.

What does this mean for us at Duke? It means every one of us is called to care, and to act.

Last summer, under the banner of Moments to Movement, we took a public stand against the public health crisis of racism. We pledged to confront and combat racism wherever we find it. In the months since then, hundreds of your colleagues have been working to make our care delivery more equitable and our workplace more just. Their work is gathering momentum, and we will soon begin bringing you the stories of their progress.

Yet this work is not just for some. It’s the responsibility of everyone at Duke to be self-aware and make equitable choices daily. So learn how you can help. Participate in a special edition of Conversations with Colleagues to discuss how to address hate crimes against the Asian American community. Or simply reach out to tell a colleague that you see them, and you care.

Moments like this matter because Duke Health is a place of healing. When people are physically hurting, we offer hope. When hearts are breaking, we offer kindness. And when a pandemic of hatred is raging, we offer action. Join us in this movement. Go all in to stand against the racism and hatred that harms our community, the nation and the world.

Sincerely,

William J. Fulkerson, Jr., MD, Executive Vice President, Duke University Health System

John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, President, Private Diagnostic Clinic

Rhonda S. Brandon, Chief HR Officer and Senior Vice President, Duke University Health System

Katie Galbraith, MBA, FACHE, President, Duke Regional Hospital

Thomas A. Owens, MD, President, Duke University Hospital, Senior Vice President, Duke University Health System

Leigh Bleecker, MBA, MHA, Interim President, Duke Raleigh Hospital