Dear Members of the Campus Community,
Just over a year ago today, the Chief Diversity Officer and Director for Intercultural Engagement sent this message, “As we manage this trying time connected to the coronavirus outbreak, we hope you consider how insensitive and ill-informed comments regarding the disease impact members of our campus community. There is a growing number of reports on and off campus of xenophobic and racially discriminatory comments directed to people of Asian descent…. Viruses do not discriminate based on background, and nor should we. We urge you to support and care for each other in these difficult days, and to be especially mindful of those who may be directly affected.”
After the marking of a year since the sharp pivot in our everyday lives on campus and in our communities, discrimination and violence against individuals of Asian descent have escalated. Stop Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Hate reports over 3,800 incidents (e.g. verbal harassment, physical assault, civil rights violations, etc.) against people who identify as Asian American Pacific Islanders in the past year. On Tuesday evening, a mass shooting occurred in Atlanta with the majority of those murdered being Asian women.
In the last several weeks, there have been reports of various acts of violence against Asian Americans across our country and globally. These issues also occur close to home. Racist anti-Asian vandalism at a Seattle church happened for the fourth time, and an assault on an Asian American woman in Seattle’s International District occurred earlier this month. Our own Asian Studies space was Zoom-bombed.
We strongly condemn such hate acts and any related behaviors associated with anti-Asian racism, and call our community to care for one another and create spaces of support and belonging, especially for those who are targeted, impacted and made vulnerable during this time.
Our campus will gather for a virtual vigil on Tuesday, March 23, at 5:00 p.m. PST, and you can join the gathering.
If you are a student and are feeling significantly affected or overwhelmed by the situation, CHWS is available with Same Day/Next Day appointments that students can schedule every weekday.
Sunil Kukreja, Ph.D. | Interim Chief Diversity Officer
Vivie Nguyen | Director for Intercultural Engagement