Resources available for Asian American and Pacific Islanders, community members

On Jan. 11, Bloomington resident Billie Davis reportedly stabbed an 18-year-old Asian student about seven times in the head on the 1777 Bloomington transit bus. According to the affidavit, Davis told police that she stabbed the victim because she was Asian.

The IU Asian Culture Center released a statement on Jan. 13 responding to the incident and its impact on the Asian American community.

“We are outraged and heartbroken by this unprovoked act of violence, but we are also concerned for the well-being of our community.”

The ACC plans events aimed at educating and informing people about Asian culture, history and issues. After the crime, Castillo-Cullather emphasized the importance of patience and understanding during the aftermath of this crime within the Bloomington community.

“This is a very traumatic experience for everyone and the Asian community,” Castillo-Cullather said. “People have to be patient when it comes to wanting to know more or hearing the student’s story.”

Support of the Asian Cultural Center

The ACC holds listening sessions after the crime so students can come and express their fears, sadness, anger, and other emotions they may be feeling. The first listening session took place on January 13th.

Melanie Castillo Cullather, director of the ACC, said the students suggested a series of sessions that would be held in different variations. The first proposed session would encourage Asian students to share their personal stories and feelings after the event and to hear from other Asian students. The second proposed session will be open to all students on campus and will be a much larger discussion.

Although ACC has not yet set specific dates for meetings, Castillo-Cullather said the ACC website and Instagram will be updated and it will be announced when the events will take place.

According to the ACC website, ACC hosts an “Over a Cup of Tea” discussion each month where faculty members, scholars and guest presenters discuss issues affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

support in everyday life

Whether in person or via Zoom, ACC staff are available to speak if a student has an anxiety or concern, or just needs someone to listen. Castillo-Cullather said students don’t need an appointment to speak with staff. Zoom calls can also be arranged. Castillo-Cullather offers late-night Zoom sessions for students who aren’t available during the day. Castillo-Cullather can be reached via email at [email protected]

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

For those seeking professional counseling, IU offers Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to students. According to the IU Student Health Center website, students who have paid the student health fee receive two free appointments each semester. The ACC also offers additional counseling through CAPS at the Cultural Center, where Wilson Hsiao is the embedded counselor for the ACC.

travel resources

If students do not feel comfortable using public transport, they can scan the code available on IU Ride. Students receive a $6.50 discount on their Lyft ride every night from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

IU Ride also offers free rides within Bloomington city limits for students who feel unsafe walking home or to work. By downloading the TransLoc mobile app to their phone, students can request a ride anytime between 8pm and 1:40am

Reporting Bias Incidents

If a student witnesses an incident where someone is being abused because of their race or other factors such as gender or sexuality, they can report it to the university through the prejudice reporting system. Asian Americans Advancing Justice also tracks cases where Asian Americans log their own cases of abuse and hate crimes across the country.

opportunities to network

The Virulent Hate Project is a research initiative created in response to hate crimes against the AAPI community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group has a database of hundreds of community organizations for people to join. They range from activist organizations to support systems. Castillo-Cullather encourages the Bloomington community to use this time to make students feel safe and welcome.

“I want our students to feel as safe as any other student,” Castillo-Cullather said.