Skip to main content

To: NCCAOM, ACAOM, and all East Asian Medicine academic institutions

Remove the racist term “oriental” from the acupuncture profession

"Oriental" is a term rooted in xenophobia and white supremacy. It is imperative that we eliminate it from our profession. This important first step is the beginning of a generations-long investment in dismantling colonialism and advocating health diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of East Asian Medicine.

We demand the following:

1. Remove “oriental” from all East Asian Medicine institutions, including in names, acronyms, diplomas, titles, and licensing and accrediting bodies immediately.

2. Begin a dialogue across the community and profession to explore which terms will replace “oriental,” foregrounding the voices of upcoming generations of Asian and Asian American stakeholders.

3. Provide alumni with new diplomas reflecting this change, free of charge, within one year of its adoption.

Why is this important?

The United States harbors an enduring legacy of anti-Asian racism, from the murderous violence of the so-called "Yellow Peril" in the 19th and 20th centuries to the surge in hate crimes committed against Asian Americans in the wake of COVID-19. The continued use of "oriental" in the profession of East Asian Medicine in the US perpetuates this injustice.

In 2016, the term was removed from all US federal regulations through a bill authored by New York State Representatives Grace Meng (D) and Hakeem Jeffries (D). It received unanimous, bipartisan congressional support and was signed into law by President Obama. The bill also struck the terms “Negro,” “Eskimo,” and “Spanish surname” (to honor Latinx folks), which are the associates of "oriental." Our profession is dangerously out of step with what progress has been made outside our community.

We will fail in our institutional anti-racism efforts before they begin if we persist in using this racist, obsolete term.


2020-08-11 13:18:00 -0400

Thank you all SO MUCH for signing our petition! In about three weeks, we've amassed almost 2k signatures on our petition to remove the o-word. So, what's next?

Our goal before we send this out to NCCAOM, ACAOM, and others is 5k signatures (by the way, MoveOn has an adaptive goal meter that increases only as we get more signatures). We need to push a little harder to get there, and we need to ask for your help one more time!

Call on your widest circles - schools, institutions, orgs (even those outside the acupuncture field!), non-problematic faves, friends, and family - to sign and share the petition. Share far and wide! Tag us in your posts and stories if you post on IG.

Visit us on socials @influentialpoint or on our website for more resources and to say hello!

Thank you again so much for sharing your voice, enduring the opposition and hate, and fighting against racism in our institutions. We see you and we're right there with you.

2020-07-16 14:18:46 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2020-07-15 18:38:22 -0400

500 signatures reached

2020-07-15 12:12:00 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-07-15 11:34:13 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-07-15 11:15:24 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-07-15 10:31:04 -0400

10 signatures reached