I express my deep sympathy to all our students, faculty, and administrators of Asian and Asian American heritage, and communities of color generally, who have endured dehumanizing practices in this country. The events that have unfolded in Atlanta have left us heartbroken yet again. We must acknowledge, eliminate and denounce the hateful, violent, and deadly acts against Asian and Asian Americans that has increased dramatically over the last two years and culminated in the killing of 8 people, including 6 Asian women, on March 16th. Any human can only be sickened, saddened, and angered. Our hearts grieve with the victims’ families and friends. The longstanding institutionalized dehumanizing practices in this country must stop. We must stand against these unacceptable actions and practices, and we must work together to abolish these unacceptable actions and practices.
As scholars, educators, and scientists, we strive to be logical, thoughtful, and unbiased in our thinking. We encourage the participation of everyone in the process of scientific inquiry and thought. Our humanity must embrace the beauty of our diversity. As a department, we pledged this year to focus our efforts on our commitment to a community of peace, equality, respect, inclusion, and safety for everyone. We started work in the Fall and are continuing to act this Spring. However, we know that healing and improving our community will take sustained effort and concrete actions. We fully support the CLAS Race and Social Justice initiative to identify and root out systemic racism and build a policy to protect all members from injustice based on any social category. We welcome all comments, suggestions, and critiques from faculty, colleagues, staff, and students as we move forward.
Christine Richardson, Professor and Interim Chair