International students create film to stop Asian hate – UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff | #students | #parents

To stand against anti-Asian racism, doctoral students in the Graduate School of Education created a short film titled “Your Bias Hurts Me” to promote support for Asian and Asian American students and communities against biases, violence and hate crimes.

Featuring 110 participants that includes UB faculty, staff and students, and community members of various ages, genders, races and ethnicities, the project provided a platform for the UB community to raise its voice against bias toward Asian and Asian American people.

“Our Asian community is underrepresented and racist incidents against us have been on the rise, fueled by the pandemic,” says Qinghua Chen, the project initiator and a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Education. “I’m studying education, and believe that education is a powerful tool. I think speaking up to fight biases directly is a good way to spread awareness, make changes and call on people to stand in solidarity for inclusion, respect and equity.”

Co-organizers of the project include doctoral students Shuyi Zhao and Yueqiu Zhang. The film was edited by Delong Zhong. Video is available in English and Chinese (Mandarin).

The film’s flyer is also symbolic, using black and white colors to indicate solemnness and the evil nature of racism, and red to remind people of the lives lost due to violence and hate crimes, says Chen. The balloon symbolizes hope, while the skirt below the balloon represents women, among the most vulnerable victims of racism, she adds.

During the video, participants share messages such as “My ethnicity is not a virus. Hate is,” “It’s not called the China virus. It’s COVID-19,” “My accent does not matter. My voice does,” and “I am not a minority. I have been minoritized.”

The project has received overwhelming support from the UB community, says Chen.

“I didn’t expect over 100 people, since it’s still the pandemic period, but the turnout is amazing and there are too many touching moments during my three filming days and I couldn’t help tearing up,” she says.

Chen, an international student from China, has actively coordinated philanthropic projects in both China and the U.S. In 2020, she filmed the International Cross Cultural Children’s Artwork Exhibition During COVID-19 Pandemic, a virtual showcase of children’s creativity during the pandemic through 100 COVID-19-themed artworks from 60 children in seven countries, as well as a film in support of people battling COVID-19 in China at the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Chen also organized the donation of nearly 4,000 face masks to Western New York first responders last spring.

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