March 5, 2021
Dear SCNM Community,
The arrival of vaccines and decreases in COVID cases and deaths has renewed optimism and hope for an end to the pandemic. However as numbers decline, the pandemic continues to exacerbate another American illness – our chronic disease of racism. In addition to the more than half a million lives lost and economic devastation, the pandemic has also unleashed anti-Asian racist animosity.
Citing over 100 daily incidents, a recent study reported a triple digit increase in hate crimes towards Asian Americans in 2020. These incidents, some as violent as murder, have occurred in nearly every major city in the country – including Phoenix.
Discrimination and violence towards people of Asian descent is not new. Violence towards Asian Americans includes lynchings – the most horrific known as 1871 Los Angeles Chinatown massacre. In 1884, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act that prevented immigrants of Chinese descent from becoming naturalized citizens. It was repealed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1943, ironically not long after he signed Executive Order 9066 which relocated over 100,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry to internment camps (and confiscated their property).
SCNM strives to make everyone in our community feel welcomed, supported, respected, and valued. In addition, SCNM faculty and students teach and learn healing practices drawn from diverse traditions and cultures. The role of Traditional Chinese Medicine at SCNM goes back to the College’s founding, and was shaped by beloved teachers like Dr. Mei Hou and Dr. Yong Deng. Indeed, we are blessed and honored to have a multicultural and multiracial community of students, staff, and faculty.
Please take time this weekend to help heal trauma stemming from this pandemic starting close to home – reach out with love and in peace to our Asian American colleagues, classmates and co-workers. Asking, “How are you feeling during this stressful time?” may seem like a small step, but one that embodies our Core Values to love, do the right thing, shape the future, foster resilience, and achieve excellence.
Let’s reflect, spread lovingkindness, and confirm the healing power of nature – our true nature. Every act of courage, of kindness, and compassion, brings us closer to bringing this terrible chapter – both these chapters – to a close, and to achieving the highest ideal of cure.
Yours in Health and with Love,
Paul Mittman, ND, EdD
President & CEO
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences