March 17, 2021
Dear AU Family,
Today, we woke up once again to the deeply painful news of violence, and have been reminded of the profound harm caused by racism, hate, and discrimination. The murders in Georgia of eight people, six of them Asian women, shine a light on the alarming growth of anti-Asian violence and harassment across the nation over the past year.
As of this afternoon, investigators had not yet determined the motive for these murders. But we hear clearly and understand the fear these attacks have stirred, occurring as they do against a backdrop of documented anti-Asian violence.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 3,700 reports of anti-Asian discrimination and violence have been tracked by Stop AAPI Hate, including over 400 physical assaults. Incidents have been reported in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, targeting individuals of many Asian ethnicities and backgrounds. A Pew Research study found that, as of last summer, three in 10 Asian-Americans have experienced racial slurs or racist jokes since the start of the pandemic. The recent wave of incidents builds upon a shameful and disturbing history of racial injustice, exclusion, and stigmatizing that has caused immense harm.
It is vital that we recognize the vulnerabilities that many in our community experience in these troubling times. We must stand together against all forms of racism, hate, and discrimination, including anti-Asian hate and xenophobia. We must continue to take action to ensure that each and every member of our community knows and feels that they belong and are welcome.
Please know that we are here for you. Students with concerns impacting academic life can reach out to the Dean of Students Office (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-885-3300.) Students seeking counseling support are reminded that the Counseling Center offers crisis intervention services 24 hours a day, from any location, and can be reached at 202-885-7979.
Staff and faculty can reach out to BHS for support from a diverse group of counselors or to Dale Rampell, Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) counselor (FSAP@american.edu; 202-885-2593). All FSAP services are free and confidential for AU faculty, staff, and their immediate families.
There will be opportunities forthcoming for students, faculty, and staff to process current events together. Watch for social media posts sharing information.
Together, we must stand in solidarity with our Asian and Asian-American and Pacific Islander classmates, friends, colleagues, and peers as we work to build an AU community of support, care, compassion, and justice.
Please remember to take care of each other and be safe,
Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence