Bringing CNS Members Together to Make Children’s Lives Better


Joint CNS/PCN Statement Against Racism Directed Toward the AAPI Community

On behalf of the members of the Child Neurology Society and the Professors of Child Neurology, we are writing to express anger, alarm and grief over increased violence and intimidation directed toward Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. On the morning of March 16, the same day on which the shocking murder in Atlanta of 8 people – 6 of them AAPI women – made news headlines, the San Francisco-based “Stop AAPI Hate Project” issued a report highlighting the dramatic upsurge in violence directed toward this community both in the Bay Area and nationwide. More than 3,800 coronavirus-related acts of racially motivated hostility directed toward AAPI individuals in the US from March 2020 through February 2021 have been recorded. Women, it was noted, were twice as likely as men to be victims.  

We, the members of the CNS and PCN, grieve the tragic loss of life and the wounded sense of the possibilities of life such hate-filled acts inflict upon AAPI women, men and children. Those targeted and victimized with increased frequency include our members, our colleagues, the patients and parents we see daily, the classmates and playmates our children and grandchildren grow up with, our families, neighbors and fellow citizens. “They” are “us.”  

As specially trained physicians committed to working toward removing the neurological barriers limiting the potential of all children to receive the full respect due them as residents or citizens of this country, and the full recognition of human dignity due to all people of all ages throughout all the world, we call on this country to live up to its ideals and commit to working urgently and purposefully to make realizing such a world possible and sustainable. It cannot go unnoted that the murders in Atlanta occurred the same week jury selection was underway in Minneapolis in the trial of the policeman charged with George Floyd’s murder last spring. It grieves us to feel compelled to formally say again what we felt compelled to say such a short time ago in a statement by the CNS Board published in Annals of Neurology (Pearl et al, Ann Neuro 2020; 88:209-2100):  

“(But) as we have seen in the past few weeks and countless times before, our love for children is not enough. We are all human beings traveling together on this small planet. The children and their parents that we care for represent every race, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation, income and employment level, educational background, and linguistic proficiency. We are in an excellent position to demonstrate that our caring and understanding attitude can be emulated by others. As child neurologists, we can make a strong statement that racism must be defeated. As scholars and physicians, we prove this every day in the clinic, on the telephone, and in interactions with each other. As citizens, we cannot and will not tolerate African Americans being treated as less than human. We need to join with others to mobilize as a society to end racism and intolerance.”

We, the Child Neurology Society and the Professors of Child Neurology, therefore, stand now as one against racism directed toward the AAPI, Black, Brown, indigenous, Latinx, immigrant, and sexual/gender and religious minority communities. We will continue to seek ways to help the CNS and PCN become actively anti-racist associations. We will not remain silent. We will support our members and we welcome thoughts and additional resources that can be shared with our members within the CNS and PCN and with our partners in the larger pediatric and neurology communities to move essential conversations and constructive actions forward to make good on that promise. As one example, we would draw your attention, in closing, to last week’s news that for the first time in 34 years, the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on “Discrimination and Violence Against Asian Americans”. (Link to the videotaped hearing and written testimony presented):  

Rujuta Bhatt Wilson MD, on behalf of the CNS/PCN Diversity & Leadership Task Force  
Nancy Bass MD, on behalf of the Executive Board, Professors of Child Neurology  
Phillip Pearl MD, on behalf of the Executive Board, Child Neurology Society  
Roger Larson, CAE, Executive Director, Child Neurology Society