Education

Confronting the anti-Asian backlash in the wake of the pandemic

By Martha Bezzat Anti-Asian racism has been on the rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, something that Dr. Jean Yu-wen Wu, a Tufts University professor and diversity leader, calls “a kind of terrorism.” “It’s about controlling us, telling us we’re not wanted, telling us we don’t belong,” said Dr. Wu during a virtual town hall meeting May 14 sponsored by the Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition (GMAACC), an organization launched by Malden residents to dismantle historical bias and racism against Asians and Asian Americans. More than 250 people attended the meeting to hear three specialists and a college student speak about their experiences.    Dr. Wu called the current anti-Asian bias a “virulent strand” of racism in the United States. She said that while the pandemic didn’t create this racism, it revealed a racism “that’s been deeply embedded in U.S. history and U.S. nation-building.”  “It’s important to speak up about racist incidents to increase awareness because the history of Asians in the U.S. is not taught, and so newcomers in the community may not […]

Education

MaldenCORE creates platform to speak on racial inequality

By Diti Kohli Jennifer Hedrington, a Salemwood School math teacher who is Haitian American, wearily remembered missing out as a child on having a teacher who looked like her. Today she advocates alongside the Malden Community Organizing for Racial Equity to ensure the same won’t happen to any of her seventh grade students. Hedrington is a part of MaldenCORE, a community-based organization that aims to foster more diverse leadership representation in the city, especially in its schools.   Starting August 2018, the groups hosts “fourth Wednesday conversations” open to the public in the Markey Senior Center dining room. Members lead inclusive conversations on issues that disproportionately affect communities of color. “The beginning of solving all issues is a conversation,” said Hedrington. “Some of these topics are frustrating and painful, but we have to go through pain to make that change happen.” Past “conversations” addressed bias in the education system, the nature of racial discrimination, and the school-to-prison pipeline that drives disadvantaged students to criminal activity. Last Wednesday, three presenters detailed the origin and history of […]