Statement on Anti-Asian Hate and Bias

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students and Community Members,

We would like to express our sincerest condolences to those who have been directly and indirectly impacted by the surge in anti-Asian violence and discrimination we have witnessed in the last year. The recent murders in Atlanta that took the lives of eight people — Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, and four more who are unnamed at this time — are abhorrent and disturbing. As six of these individuals were women of Asian descent, this heinous act has a particularly profound effect on Asian and Asian American communities and amplifies the fear and pain they have been experiencing. This tragedy also affects all of us who care deeply about these communities and who are working diligently to prevent acts of hate, violence, and discrimination.

Acts of violence targeting anyone based on their identities are especially disturbing and heinous because innocent victims, their loved ones, and those who hold similar identities are harmed and traumatized. Recently, members of Asian, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, LGBTQ, Immigrant, Muslim, Jewish, and other communities have experienced atrocities that no human being should ever have to endure or witness.

Besides standing with members of our Asian and Asian American communities, the College of Liberal Arts strives to provide critical support and resources that individuals and groups need to feel safe and supported. In everything we do, we place humanity at the center, and we are only able to accomplish this through our collective commitment to dismantle hate and bias.

We continue to build our list of antiracist, antihate and antibias resources. We hope you will consult these resources to learn more about what you can do to engage in positive action. Moreover, if you are aware of a resource that should be added to this list, please share it with us. The list is being accessed by individuals in our community, across the nation, and beyond. It has proven to be valuable to many.

In the CLA strategic plan, we have committed to establishing working groups dedicated to supporting members of various affinity groups, including Asian and Asian American faculty and staff. If you are interested in assisting with this effort, please contact us. ASUN and the Multicultural Center continue to create spaces and programming to support Asian and Asian American students. On Friday, March 19 at 6 p.m., Kappa Phi Lambda (an Asian-interest sorority) will host a vigil to honor the victims of the Atlanta murders and provide an opportunity for reflection, testimonials, and solidarity. For more information, please see attached flyer or contact Keola Wong or Meredith Oda.

On April 8 at 5:30 p.m., our Thought on Tap series will host a panel discussion entitled “Building Legacies of Activism and Social Justice.” As part of our Faculty Professional Development program, we have an “Antiracism and Antihate Workshop” scheduled for April 16 at 10 a.m. We commit to including a discussion and resources for countering anti-Asian bias and violence at these forums. Please contact Daniel Enrique Pérez for more information. In order to create a stronger and more concerted effort to dismantle hate and bias, we are also working to establish diversity liaisons and/or diversity committees in every department and unit of the college.

Besides participating in the efforts above, there are many other ways you can help. We recommend presenting narratives and facilitating discourses that counter the misinformation that plagues our society, especially concerning various minority groups and women. You can also support local and national organizations that are directly addressing these issues, like Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Asian American Feminist Collective, Red Canary Song, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. For more resources, visit Anti-Asian Violence Resources.

Preventing hate and bias requires deep transformation and an understanding of the way the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, and other aspects of identity have a real impact on the lives of individuals and communities. We hope you will join us in the effort to educate and engage in this critical and timely work.

As we have done in the past, we believe it is imperative to remember and honor those who are victims of violence. They remind us why we must affirm our commitment to enact change and do more. At this moment, we honor Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, injured survivor Elcías R. Hernández-Ortiz, and those who remain to be named. Let’s commit to remembering them and keeping their memory alive.

Peace and solidarity,

Daniel Enrique Pérez and Debra Moddelmog