March 23, 2021
WASHINGTON – In light of the recent killings of eight individuals, including six Asian American women, in the Atlanta-area, Christine Soyong Harley, President and CEO of SIECUS, issued the following statement on anti-Asian violence.
“SIECUS stands in full solidarity and support of the Asian American community and joins community and advocacy calls for the addressing of anti-Asian bias, discrimination and violence in America.
As an Asian American woman, in the last few weeks, I have processed feelings of hurt, anger, fear and mourning. My heart is with the families who are mourning the senseless loss of their loved ones. The violence erupting in the Bay Area of California and the murders in Atlanta come after a year of the Trump administration’s discriminatory actions in scapegoating Asian Americans for the coronavirus pandemic. This has paved the way for a rise in anti-Asian attacks.
During a time when the sex ed field is embarking upon an effort to uproot white supremacy and incorporate values of racial justice within our organizations and programs, the murders in Atlanta remind us how urgent and critical this work is. The racialized sexualization of communities of color also fosters distorted perceptions that increase risk of sexual violence and racialized misogyny for women, gender nonconforming and LGBTQ individuals. We must acknowledge the consequences of racialized sexualized stereotypes and how they harm people of color. This is one of the many reasons comprehensive sex education is so vital.
Racism impacts the way young people of color experience social fear around their sexuality and reproduction. As sex educators, we work to ensure that every young person receives comprehensive sex education that is inclusive of their lived racial experiences and normalize and humanize their right to live sexually and reproductive healthy lives. Sex educators can help to dismantle white supremacy.
Today we stand with Asian Americans during this moment of hurt and mourning. Every day, we stand with all people fighting for an anti-racist future in America.”
SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change has served as the national voice for sex education for 56 years, asserting that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Through policy, advocacy, education, and strategic communications efforts, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change—working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom as they define it for themselves.