• Home

[WEBINAR] Hate, Xenophobia, and COVID-19: How Should Higher Ed Respond?

An online forum hosted by PEN America’s Campus Free Speech Program

This is PEN America’s second online forum in our webinar series, “Free Speech & the Virtual Campus.” More webinars will be announced.

In recent weeks, there has been an enormous spike in reports of hate and bias incidents targeting Asian Americans related to the spread of COVID-19. As faculty and administrators monitor these developments—and in some cases, support students who have been directly targeted—there is a need to raise our voices against xenophobia and racism, and to talk about proactive and reactive steps that higher education can take.

Join this online forum on Wednesday, April 15 at 3:30 pm Eastern standard time to hear about how higher education leaders, administrators, staff, and faculty should be responding to this scourge, amid our broader public health crisis.

Wanda CollinsDr. Wanda Collins, a licensed psychologist, serves as the assistant vice president for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Prior to Emory, Wanda was director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Duke University and the Counseling Center at American University, as well as serving on the faculty at the Washington School of Psychiatry in the Supervision Training Program. In addition to her passion for higher education, Wanda is interested in leadership, clinical work, supervision, training, and group therapy. She is also committed to issues associated with diversity and inclusion. She holds an MA in general psychology from American University and an MS/PhD in counseling psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Rickey HallRickey Hall was appointed as the eighth vice president for minority affairs and diversity at the University of Washington, effective August 1, 2016. Hall leads the university’s equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, and plays a key role in advancing institutional excellence. He has oversight of the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) which administers programs that broaden college access, support student success, and enhance diversity-related teaching and learning across campus. OMA&D also works collaboratively with and serves as a resource for colleges and administrative units as they establish, coordinate, and assess their contributions to institutional diversity goals. Hall came to the UW after serving as the inaugural vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for three years. Prior to that role, he served for six years as the assistant vice president for equity and diversity at the University of Minnesota.  Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies and a master’s degree in higher education, both from the University of Iowa. Hall is currently completing a doctor of education degree in organizational leadership at the University of Minnesota.

Jennifer HoThe daughter of a refugee father from China and an immigrant mother from Jamaica, Jennifer Ho is a professor in the department of Ethnic Studies and the director of the Center for Humanities and the Arts (CHA) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Ho received her BA in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1992) and her PhD in English from Boston University (2003) and had a faculty appointment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2004 to 2019, where she taught courses in Asian-American literature, contemporary multiethnic American literature, critical race studies, and intersectionality. Ho is the author of three books: Consumption and Identity in Asian American Coming-of-Age Novels (Routledge Press, 2005); Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture (Rutgers University Press, 2015), which won the 2016 South Atlantic Modern Languages Association award for best monograph; and Understanding Gish Jen (University of South Carolina Press, 2015). She is co-editor of a collection of essays on race and narratology, Race, Ethnicity, and Narrative in the United States (OSU Press, 2017), and a series of teaching essays on Asian-American literature, Teaching Approaches to Asian American Literature (forthcoming MLA). She has published in journals such as Modern Fiction Studies, Journal for Asian American Studies, Amerasia Journal, The Global South and has also presented at conferences such as the International Society for the Study of Narrative, American Studies Association, Modern Language Association, American Literature Association, and the Association of Asian American Studies, where she has just been elected as the incoming president, effective April 2020. Two of her current book projects are a breast cancer memoir and a family autobiography that will consider Asian Americans in the global south through the narrative of her maternal family’s immigration from Hong Kong to Jamaica to North America. In addition to her academic work, Ho is active in community engagement around issues of race and intersectionality, leading workshops on anti-racism and how to talk about race in our current political climate.

Mariam LamMariam Lam is Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer, at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). In this role, Lam advises the leadership team, including the Chancellor, on all issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and sets the vision and course for positioning UCR as a national leader in reimagining diversity in higher education. She heads a wide range of initiatives and committees that address DEI, partners with campus and community stakeholders to advance UCR’s diversity mission, and represents UCR at the system, state and national levels.

Jonathan FriedmanJonathan Friedman is the program director for campus free speech at PEN America, where he oversees PEN America’s advocacy, analysis, and outreach in the national debate around free speech and inclusion in higher education. He served as lead author on PEN America’s 2019 report, Chasm in the Classroom: Campus Free Speech in a Divided America, and on the production of its digital Campus Free Speech Guide. Friedman holds a PhD in international education from New York University, and has previously taught courses at NYU and Columbia University in comparative and international education, higher education, and social theory. His research on American and international higher education has been published in leading academic journals, and he regularly provides commentary on campus free speech issues for national news media. He has previously received awards for his teaching, research, and leadership.