By Abby Weingarten

Since the eruption of the pandemic, society has grappled with increasing violence and racism toward the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

To continue a campus-wide conversation on this issue, New College’s Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SAuCE) office (in coordination with Tea With The People) is hosting an “Anti-Asian Sentiment Dialogue” event at 6:30 p.m. Tues. May 4 via Zoom.

“The pandemic has really shined a light on some of the negative experiences that AAPI people are currently facing, and I wanted to bring awareness and education to that,” said Jada McNeill, the assistant director of SA[u]CE and one of the event organizers. “Until the ‘United We Stand’ event at New College, I haven’t been in spaces that address racism outside of the black-white dynamic.”

May is AAPI Heritage Month. And, during the May 4, New College faculty, students and staff are invited to share an open and honest dialogue designed to build empathy and cultural awareness. New College’s partnership with Tea With The People—a collaborative project between the Racial Agency Initiative and Make America Dinner Again—will help facilitate that experience.

“We recognize the intersectionality that exists between what is happening politically with the pandemic and America’s ongoing problem of race that people across state borders are experiencing in real ways,” members of Tea With The People stated. “These experiences deserve conversations so that we can see, name and address them as they are happening.”

McNeill wants to make these conversations more frequent at New College.

“It is critical to have a dialogue about the AAPI racism and violence to help educate, and to give people a safe space to share their personal experiences,” McNeill said. “This event is important because it will highlight what racism looks like against AAPI folks and the fact that this isn’t a new concept. We need to be more mindful and aware of racism as an institution if we strive to be more inclusive to all identities.”

Register for the event here.

To learn more about the SA[u]CE office, visit

Abby Weingarten is the senior editor in the Office of Communications & Marketing.

Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the state’s Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences, a master’s degree program in data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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