HDSI Statement on AAPI Racism

March 20, 2021

The Harvard Data Science Initiative condemns the murders of eight people in Atlanta on March 16. Six of the eight victims were Asian women. Their killings took place against a backdrop of increasing violence and violent rhetoric towards Asian Americans and Asian American women in particular. These facts underscore the importance of recognizing and combating the pervasive systemic racism and misogyny in our society, and we are reminded of the important role data science can play in uncovering and addressing those and other forms of discrimination.

Late last year, we launched the Bias^2 Program which supports research, features speakers, and engages the data science community towards using data science to uncover bias, combat the use of data science that reinforces bias, and to deploy data science to improve outcomes and eliminate bias. We remain committed to the goals of our Bias^2 program, and we encourage the broader Harvard data science community to join us in these efforts.

For those who are asking, “How can I help?” we note that some in the broader data science community have been working on resources that collate data on anti-Asian hate speech on Twitter and in the media, including the Georgia Tech Computational Data Lab for the Web and Society and South Asian Americans Leading Together. We welcome you to let us know of other data resources.

If you have personally experienced an act of anti-Asian hate, in addition to reporting it to authorities, we encourage sharing it with community-based organizations such as Stop AAPI Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice

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