COVID-19 Racism and Bias—Share Your Stories and Access Resources

Although all members of our community are all feeling increased stress due to COVID-19, some members of our community are additionally fighting increased racism and bias against them. The goal of this blog post is to share your stories, provide resources for reporting and dealing with racism and bias personally, and for becoming a better ally to folks experiencing racism and bias.

We are continuing to collect anonymous stories of racism and bias during the COVID pandemic. Please feel free to use this anonymous space to share encounters that you have experienced or witnessed.

Our goal as the clinical sphere is to disseminate stories, quotes, or pieces from these submissions in our RBI communications during the COVID pandemic, to increase awareness and understanding of the additional racism and bias induced stress that some of our colleagues are experiencing during this time.

Tools for Reporting Racism and Bias

Learn more.

At Mount Sinai:

  • Reporting Tools: Report racism using the mistreatment reporting form, or by calling the confidential or anonymous compliance hotline at 800-853-9212. You may also report racism and bias by speaking with your program director, department chair, or ombudsperson.
  • Students: As a reminder, please find options for reporting mistreatment on your mistreatment resources ID tag.


Beyond Mount Sinai:

  • NYS Attorney General Hotline: Combat Coronavirus Hate Crimes and Xenophobic Racism by reporting to the NYS Attorney General hotline. Call the Ongoing Hotline at 1-800-771-7755 or
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice Report Tool: AAAJ is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all.
  • The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council: APCON is a coalition of community-based organizations that advocates for the rights and needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) Community in the greater Los Angeles area, with a particular focus on low income, immigrant, refugee and other disadvantaged sectors of the population.

Wellness Resources

Learn more.

At Mount Sinai:

  • Staff Well-Being During COVID-19: For well-being during the COVID crisis, check out the COVID staff resources well-being page. The menu on the right side offers options for basic needs, psychosocial support, and Mental Health Treatment and Evaluations.
  • Mount Sinai Calm: Mount Sinai Calm is now operating virtually. Find programming and resources for mindfulness and meditation, yoga, art sessions, and other de-stressing sessions.
  • Talk About It: Attend additional, newly scheduled RBI Chats for Change to talk about COVID-specific racism and bias. Click the link to RSVP for both these and our regularly scheduled chats for change options.


Beyond Mount Sinai:

  • Bridges Mental Health Counseling: If you would like assistance in finding support from a therapist in the New York City area who shares your cultural identity or is passionate and knowledgeable about your community, explore this unique directory. Under the resources tab, they also offer additional, related resources that may benefit you.
  • NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline: For New York State residents who could benefit from mental health support, the NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline at 844-863-9314 is staffed 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.
  • NYC Well: Text, call, or chat with NYC Well for assistance with problems like stress, anxiety, depression, and more for yourself or someone you care about.
  • Student-Compiled Resources: This massive directory of self-care and wellness resources has been put together by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai students and features tabs for mental health, free workouts, de-stress activities, apps, and websites, and more.

Tools for Fighting Racism and Bias

Learn more.

Bystander Intervention: To find tools for speaking out when you witness racism/bias, check out:

Microaggression Response Resources: To find tools for understanding and responding to microaggressions, check out the following resources on our RBI personal learning lab:

  • Killing Me Softly: A game demonstrating how it feels to suffer microaggressions and acculturative stress day after day.
  • Mixed Messages: A tool for recognizing microaggressions and the messages they send.
  • Interrupting Techniques: Strategies for interrupting microaggressions in the moment.

Community and Learning:

  • RBI Chats for Change: RBI Chats for Change is a series of discussion sessions for exploring and learning about racism and bias; check out newly added sessions for COVID-specific racism and bias.


  • Dumplings Against Hate: Support NYC Chinatown businesses, who bear a greater burden during this economic crisis because of the associated racism.
  • CACF has started a fund called RICE (Responding Immediately to the COVID-19 Emergency), which is helping member organizations to offer money directly to families in poverty that have been devastated by the crisis. Click on “Donate Now.” In the “Designation” drop-down, please select “Rice Fund.”
  • Supporting Local Businesses: The next time you’re ordering a meal for delivery or going grocery shopping, consider supporting your local Asian-owned small businesses!

About this Post

This post was written by the Racism and Bias Initiative’s Clinical Sphere

Racism in the Time of COVID

COVID-19 is not an excuse to be racist.

On Friday, April 10, the Racism and Bias Initiative launched its Chats for Change in the Time of COVID-19, a special-edition virtual series of discussions to reflect on the roles of racism and privilege in the time of COVID and to spark action around developing an anti-racist crisis response. In this first discussion, over 50 students, faculty, and staff engaged in a conversation about the role of racism specific to the increased incidents of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian scapegoating and xenophobic reactions. 

Powerful stories were shared by participants who felt brave enough to disclose their experience with coronavirus racism including fear, exclusion, microaggressions, and other racist behaviors related to this public health epidemic. The arc of the dialogue moved towards recognizing how this pandemic has reawakened old racist tropes against Chinese people in particular, and presented an excuse to be racist.

As one participant pointed out, the psychosocial impact coronavirus racism produces may be accelerated for members of the Asian community who live with other salient and marginalized intersectional identities:

“Also thinking about additional issues and impacts facing Asian folks with intersecting identities who may face additional barriers to what has already been discussed (e.g., LGBTQ/non-binary, disabilities, etc.) who may feel further isolated or less likely to have support when instances of hate/bias do occur.”

We reflected inward and took a moment to consider our own lived experiences, professional identity and social identities (e.g., race, nationality, gender, socioeconomic status, first language, religion, etc.) and talked about the ways we were responding or countering the scapegoating, xenophobic reactions, microaggressions or other racist behaviors and how we are contributing to them—even if unintended.  By the end of the hour, we identified a range of resources and opportunities to support Asian American communities all of which are listed below.



  • Japanese American Citizens League
  • NYC Hotline for Hate Crimes and Bias-based Incidents: 1-800-771-7755 or email
  • Bridges—A mental health hub for Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans in NYC
    • The Bridges Therapist Directory features NYC-based mental health professionals who provide culturally sensitive and competent services to Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans. Please note that listed professionals are not in any way endorsed by Bridges. You are encouraged to visit their websites and to check with the professional licensing entities in your state to make sure that the therapist is licensed, in good standing, and eligible to practice in your state.​
  • EGPS / AGPA Free Asian American Therapist Community Zoom Support Group—sponsored by the EGPS Social Action Committee and the AGPA iSIG Facilitated by Teresa Lee, MD and Robert Hsiung, MD
    • Eligible, Self-identified Asian American therapists and trainees
    • RSVP required. Please email a few words about yourself and your interest in this group to by Tuesday April 14 at 5 pm EST. Space is limited
    • Contacts and
Article Watch


On this article, Dr. Palermo writes:

“This is an interesting article about how one of the first COVID-19 patients was treated, before his U.S. doctors knew about the disease. Coming up with a treatment plan required collaboration between Chinese and Chinese-American doctors. It’s important to remember that the virus knows no borders. I’d like to see more positive, uplifting stories being shared by the media.”

About the Author

This post was written by Ann-Gel Palermo, DrPH, MPH, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in Biomedical Education.