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The New Organization behind NU’s Asian-American Healing Space Event

Earlier in March, nationwide acts of violence against Asian-Americans were finally being covered by US media—and the NU community responded. On March 3rd the NU Asian-Faculty Staff Affinity Group (AFS) and the Northeastern Asian American Center co-hosted an Asian American Community Healing Event.

Matt Lee, Professor of Human Services at Northeastern and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council on Civic Sustainability, Diversity, and Inclusion (CSDI) is a founding member of AFS group. He spoke on the success of the event that demonstrated many faculty and staff members in attendance wanting to learn more about inclusive communication and strategies. He also spoke on the hard work of the group and the legacy of Anti-Asian sentiment that has been leading up to the formation of the affinity group.

Anti-Asian crimes preceded 2021 but the new attention that started in January mobilized people…we’re  [AFS members] pretty new and found each other through various means, usually through diversity related meetings. We’re not elected, we’re all volunteering to do this. All of us are committed to anti-racism and healing.

Matt Lee
Key Members of AFS

Along with Matt Lee, the founding AFS steering committee is compromised of the following faculty and staff members: Somy Kim, Professor of English; Rachel Moo, Director of the Asian American Center; Mika Morikawa-Zhou, Administrative Officer in the Department of Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies; Hua Dong, a Senior Language Specialist in the World Language Center; Jeff Yu, Orientation and Student Event Manager in NU Global; and Tiana Yom, the Director of the Northeastern University Public Evaluation Lab, NU-PEL.

As AFS is looking to expand and start thinking about potentially in-person events this fall, Tiana Yom expressed the importance to connect and partner with existing groups on campus. Mika Morikawa-Zhou discussed how AFS values partnership and membership sharing how groups are more than welcome to reach out to connect with AFS. One of the biggest goals, Jeff Yu mentioned, is raising awareness of the presence of the affinity group on campus — both at student and staff-level. Part of Tiana Yom’s work requires building networks with other organizers both on and off campus, it’s an important skill she brings to the affinity group as they begin a summer of expanding and planning.

As a part of my work in NU-PEL, I lead and create interdisciplinary, multigenerational teams of students, staff, and faculty. I bring that skill set of organizational development and team building to help our AFS grow in order to build a restorative community that is made by us and for us.

Tiana Yom

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