Action / Events
INTERFAITH COALITION AGAINST RACISM (ICAR) STATEMENT ON ANTI-ASIAN RACISM AMIDST CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
April 3, 2020
The Interfaith Coalition Against Racism (ICAR), comprised of several Chicago-based congregations partnering to address systemic racism in our city and nation, issued the following statement and call to action about anti-Asian racism amidst the coronavirus pandemic:
While the coronavirus is spreading around the globe, Asian Americans are increasingly becoming targets of racism and discrimination. The Interfaith Coalition Against Racism (ICAR) calls for an immediate end to the racist slurs and hateful actions afflicting these members of our society who are falsely blamed for the pandemic. We have the responsibility to be active allies. This is a biological pandemic which is leading to an economic pandemic. We must fight against it becoming another racism pandemic. (“BIPOC”, Blacks-Indigenous & People of Color know the harm of chronic racism’s ongoing pandemic.)
We seek to build Chicago into what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., calls the Beloved Community, which embodies the interdependence and kinship of all people. Right now, Asian Americans are experiencing real fear that results from the hate speech and behavior directed toward them by their fellow US citizens.
As our Asian American sister Reverend Peggy Lo of St. Chrysostom’s Church told us, “Being new to Chicago, I’m always looking around and trying to cultivate this sense of openness and willingness to engage, but in these times I find myself putting in both earbuds, turning up whatever I’m listening to, and pulling down my hat over my ears to avoid the possibility of hearing and seeing any kind of overt racism.“
We invite Chicago’s clergy, houses of worship, and the general population, to engage in the pursuit of the Beloved Community from the pulpit, in congregational life, and in the world. Passover, Lent and Ramadan are certainly good times to “Preach Anti-Racism; Move toward the Beloved Community”.
When we hear the harmful terms of “Chinese flu,” “Wuhan virus,” or “Kung-flu” used, we must speak up against them and use only the terms condoned by the World Health Organization, “Coronavirus” and “COVID-19”. When we see hateful rhetoric, memes and disinformation on social media, we need to report it to the platform administrator and/or engage vigorously in anti-racist conversation.
Simply standing strong with a person who is being verbally abused helps to demobilize an attack. It also lets our Asian American family members know that we empathize. Whether we feel we can intervene or not, we must report all acts of race-based violence, assault and discrimination to the Chicago Police Department and other authorities.
According to the US Census Bureau, Chicago is home to more than 175,000 Asian Americans. Let us show them our support. Let us stand up and speak out.
Interfaith Coalition Against Racism (ICAR) works to dismantle racism within our city of Chicago, state of Illinois, and our nation. We accomplish this through interfaith collaboration, cross-cultural programming, relationship building, advocacy and activism. We seek to embody our faith and build the Beloved Community together.
Rev. Randall K. Blakey, LaSalle Street Church
Rev. Vicky Curtiss, Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago
Rev. Peggy Lo, St. Chrysostom’s Church
Rev. Myron F. McCoy, First United Methodist Church at The Chicago Temple
Rev. Dr. Aaron J. McLeod, Esq., Gorham United Methodist Church
Elder Anna Lloyd, Hope Presbyterian Church
Michael Rabbitt, St. Mary of the Woods
Min. Atty. Michelle Day, Nehemiah Trinity Rising
Jacqueline Lynn, Peace and Justice Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
WBEZ News Article, “Asian Americans In Chicago Feel the Bite of Prejudice During the Spread of Coronavirus”, Ester Yoon-Ji Kang (March 31, 2020):
ABC News Prime: “Virus Stokes Racial Hatred: Asian Americans Facing Discrimination, Violence Amid the Crisis” (March 20, 2020):
Asian American Christian Collaborative: “Statement on Anti-Asian Racism in the Time of COVID-19”
Reporting on Asian Racism:
Judicial Candidates Forum
Chicago Renewal Society invites you to meet your Cook County Subcircuit Judicial Candi-dates at our forum. Learn about the judicial process and how it af-fects you and your community. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q & A and a meet & greet with light refreshments.
Registration is FREE! Register online: CommunityRenewalSociety.org
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
February 12: For the South & West Side – Gorham United Methodist Church, 5600 S. Indiana Ave. Chicago, IL
February 13: For the North Side – Unitarian Church of Evanston 1330 Ridge Ave, Evanston, IL
Donate to ICAR