Approved by the AAR Board of Directors on March 11, 2021
The American Academy of Religion condemns in the strongest possible way the rise in harassment and domestic acts of terror aimed at Asians and Asian Americans. The rise in such violence correlates with an increase in white nationalist discourse, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and the disinformation campaign associated with the coronavirus. As a scholarly guild dedicated to the study of religion and committed to the principles of critical examination, diversity, inclusion, and respect in our work and in the world, we hold resolutely to these values in the face of increased xenophobic hostility.
Asians and Asian Americans have been integral to the settler histories and the economic and cultural growth of all of the modern nations comprising North and South America and the Caribbean. While some may see increased diversity as a threat to themselves and their narrow understandings of American history and identity, we celebrate such diversity as it allows for a deeper, more accurate understanding of the world and its people.
We call on those in our guild to continue to make known the vast contributions of Asian cultures and religions to world civilization. We encourage ongoing collegial and public vigilance in support of Asian and Asian American colleagues and all people who face xenophobic and white supremacist prejudice. We stand firm in our dedication to diversity and social justice in our institutions and in our work together.