As coronavirus spreads across the United States, so are reports of violence and discrimination against people of Asian descent. Reports of verbal and even physical attacks against Asian Americans in grocery stores, parking lots, and subways are on the rise, and officials predict it will get worse as the coronavirus continues its march across the country.

How does stress from racism and bias affect the physical and mental health of Asian Americans, and what role can both our leaders and the general public play in minimizing the impacts? There is a body of research on this subject that pre-dates COVID-19, and it can usefully inform policy and public communication during this crisis.

To help journalists cover the disparate impacts of the pandemic, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is holding a series of briefings with leading researchers from around the country who bring an evidence-based lens to how the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting the health, and economic and social wellbeing of specific groups. And, importantly, what we know from research about possible solutions. This first teleconference will address these key questions:

  • What does research tell us about the harm discrimination generally does to our health?
  • What are some promising ideas and solutions for helping reduce anti-Asian bias during this time?


  • Friday, April 10, 9:00 AM PDT  - 10:00 AM PDT (12:00 PM EDT – 1:00 PM EDT)


  • Gilbert Gee, Ph.D., professor of community health sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
  • Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
  • Richard Besser, M.D., president and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Moderator: Nicole Bronzan, senior communications officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

RSVP: Register here


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The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 690 students from 25 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.