Racism during COVID-19

The premiere episode of Finding Common Ground began as a response to racism during COVID-19 aimed at the Asian American community. Hosts Dana Davenport and Rebecca Malotke-Meslin brought in experts to talk about the specifics of what has occured.

In setting up the conversation, all guests and viewers are invited to acknowledge the four agreements to courageous conversations:

  • Stay Engaged
  • Speak Your Truth
  • Experience Discomfort
  • Expect and Accept Non-Closure

“Asian Americans are Americans,” says Nancy Chen, who is on the Advisory Board for the Illinois Chapter of United Chinese Americans.

Other guests for the segment include Naperville City Councilman Benny White, who is also the founder of Naperville Neighbors United, Saily Joshi, a member of Naperville Neighbors United, and Won Kim, the Director of Discipleship for New Community Covenant Church-Bronzeville.

The group discussed some of their experiences, a letter that was submitted to Naperville City Council that used anti-Asian rhetoric, and xenophobia versus racism.

“There’s an assumption of otherness,” Says Kim. “There’s an assumption of foreignness, and in some ways, I wonder if labeling it xenophobia accidently furthers the othering…they always ask, where are you from?”

About the Show

Finding Common Ground is focused on important current events and how they impact our diverse population. We are many voices of one community, often with strong opinions on every side of an issue. Here, through courageous conversation in the interest of discovering collaborative solutions, we hope to find our common ground.

*The episode was taped prior to this week’s incidents in New York City and Minneapolis.
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