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ETFO statement on increasing anti-Asian violence, Atlanta shootings

Our thoughts are with all those impacted by yesterday’s shootings in Atlanta. We acknowledge the sadness and trauma this has caused members of the Asian community, both locally and internationally, and stand in solidarity with all Asian Canadians during this tragic time. 

Most of the victims were Asian women—their identities underscore the alarming increase of anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fatal impact of misogyny. Yesterday’s events epitomize the worst form of anti-Asian violence, and are symptomatic of both historical and contemporary forms of anti-Asian racism. 

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is deeply concerned about the increasing levels of hate and violence perpetrated against women, Asian communities, people of Asian descent, and other communities. This has affected the health, well-being and safety of the educators, students, families and communities we serve. We call on ETFO members and the public to denounce all forms of racism and misogyny, and to take action within schools and communities.

The resurfacing of anti-Asian discrimination has deep historical, systemic and colonial roots in this country. We must continue to raise awareness, confront and push for action to eliminate all forms of racism and violence. 

Last month, ETFO and the Toronto District School Board launched Addressing Anti-Asian Racism: A Resource for Educators, which provides a foundation for reflection, discussion and social justice action. This resource centres Indigeneity and Black lives as a necessity to addressing anti-Asian racism and the fight against white supremacy and colonialism. ETFO encourages everyone to review the resource for strategies and tools that move us to more inclusive, anti-oppressive spaces.  

If you experience or witness racism during the pandemic, report it at Fight COVID Racism 698. This platform tracks anti-Asian racism and xenophobia in Canada with the aim of validating experiences and using the data to inform efforts to dismantle anti-Asian racism and xenophobia. 

You can also find resources and supports on etfo.ca.