Racial tensions between Asian Americans, international students and Whites on the University of Iowa campus are being confronted with a program next month entitled Breaking Asian Stereotypes, reports the Daily Iowan.
The program is a reaction to a series of xenophobic incidents on campus.
Many offensive messages were posted on the social app Yik Yak which allows users to post anonymously.
In 2013, images of international students at UI along with negative remarks about Asian students dress and actions were posted on Twitter.
There are currently 1163 Asian American students at UI and 3899 international students.
“Last year, the xenophobia incident flared up again,” said Amy Chin, the multicultural programs graduate assistant for the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center. “This is sort of a response to those incidents, giving the Asian community and allies a platform or voice to speak up against those stereotype statements.”
The University Counseling Service staff is collaborating with the program. It hopes students can begin to relate to each other across cultures and interests.
“Providing opportunities for people of different identities to connect and see common humanity,” said Jeremy Kinser. “We often exist in silos that minimize cross-cultural contact, and programs like the National Coalition Building Institute are built on the idea that prejudice can be addressed through building relationships across difference.”
You can read about the personal experiences of some Asian American students at UI in the Daily Iowan.
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