In Solidarity – A Statement From APPEAL


Justice for George Floyd.

Black Lives Matter.

On behalf of Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), we join in solidarity with Black communities throughout our country and the world in calling for justice for Mr. George Floyd. We are deeply saddened, pained and outraged by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the latest in a long history of brutal killings that include Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Oscar Grant, Stephon Clark, and countless other African Americans. Black communities have been the target of police brutality and violence deeply rooted in structural and systemic racism.

Many of us as Asian Americans, at least in part, contribute to sustaining a social structure in this country centered on White privilege. It hurts that Tou Thao, one of the police complicit in the murder of Mr. Floyd is Asian American. Indeed, we cannot stand by and watch when our inaction and silence do harm. To stand in solidarity requires us to address anti-Blackness within our communities with renewed commitment and vigilance.

Like all sectors of our society, the institution of public health is not immune to racism. All too often, we fail to call out our own privilege, especially its dependence on institutional racism and systems of power, as we simultaneously call for “health equity.” Racism is a key public health issue and dismantling racism is a fundamental public health strategy, without which we cannot realize health equity.

Our hearts go out to our friends in Minnesota with whom we have collaborated on community building and leadership programs, especially the LAAMPP Leadership Institute. We offer our condolences, support, and steadfast commitment to amplify calls for racial justice, racial equity, and health equity in tobacco control.

We must support Black Lives Matter and take action accordingly in every facet of our lives.

In solidarity,

Rod Lew, MPH
Executive Director
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)

Joon-Ho Yu, MPH, PhD
Chair, Board of Directors
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)

To find some places to donate and ways to take action as Asian Americans, take a look at the crowdsourced document Asian Accountability to Black People.