stop asain hate cropThe Department of Neurosurgery would like to recognize the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

The month-long observance celebrates the unique legacies and impact of AAPI communities across the nation. This annual observance is particularly important to honor this year, in light of rising acts of violence and racism toward the AAPI community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A 2020 research analysis conducted by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that anti‐Asian hate crimes have surged 149 percent, while overall hate crimes dropped 7 percent. The department condemns all acts of racism and is dedicated to racial justice. We firmly oppose hate and violence in all forms. We stand in solidarity with those who seek justice in the call to #StopAAPIHate.

Keeping in mind AAPI Heritage month, and more importantly, recent injustices impacting both the AAPI community and our nation as a whole, we would like to highlight a collection of events, exhibitions, and content gathered by several government agencies such as the Library of Congress, National Archives, Smithsonian Institute, and more. These collections include powerful images and writings that shed light on some of the contributions the AAPI community has made to our nation.

Additionally, we would like to promote a selection of video tools, learning resources, and stories gathered by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). This selection shares unique AAPI culture and sub-culture identity perspectives with audiences to help us all better understand and work together with our colleagues and co-workers.

Our department and UAB as an institution want to ensure that the AAPI community feels supported and safe. The UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Student Multicultural & Diversity Programs is available to anyone who wishes additional support at this time. The office also has resources to learn more about conquering anti-Asian hate.

The Department of Neurosurgery would also like to encourage faculty, staff, and trainees to engage in the UAB School of Medicine (SOM) AAPI series, which will feature a SOM employee’s narrative each week. By sharing honest, personal stories throughout May, the series will create a space of joy, healing, and education.

However you choose to participate in AAPI month, we hope that you will take a few moments to learn more about the extraordinary stories, culture, achievements, and traditions of the AAPI community. We are fortunate to have each other as part of our UAB Department of Neurosurgery team, and need to take these opportunities to become even closer, both for our own personal well-being and that of our patients.

James Markert, M.D., MPH
Chair, Department of Neurosurgery