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ifaw statement on anti-Asian discrimination and violence
We are deeply disturbed by the rise in hate toward the Asian and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the United States and worldwide. We firmly denounce the recent racist and xenophobic attacks and violence, and we stand in solidarity with our Asian and AAPI community members everywhere—including our colleagues, partners and supporters. No one deserves to live in a world of hate, fear and retribution. We are all one global community.
Xenophobia, anti-Asian bias, discrimination and hate have no place anywhere, including in the animal welfare, conservation and environmental spaces. Although this hate is not a new phenomenon, it has increased in both frequency and magnitude largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and false narratives about the virus's origin and the exploitation of animals in Asia as a whole.
What's more, a lack of racial diversity remains a problem in conservation organizations like IFAW and our peers, and the model minority myth continues to harm Asian people. And climate change, rising sea levels and industrial pollution disproportionately impact BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), low-income and rural communities. These groups are also at greater risk of environmental hazards and disasters. Our collective responsibility is to ensure that we are protecting the environment and its rich biodiversity for the benefit of all people, not a select few.
To move forward, we must encourage a discourse that leads to just, equitable treatment and healing. From hate to acceptance. From equality to equity. From environmental racism to environmental justice. At IFAW, we will not be bystanders—we will be anti-racist. While we still have work to do, we will continue to do our part to support change so critical to progress.
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