Standing with the AAPI community and coming together to heal

March 19, 2021

A message from Don C. Sawyer III​, vice president for equity and inclusion, and Judy Olian, president.

Just four weeks ago, we sent a message to our university community expressing solidarity with Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities across the nation, speaking out against the rise in violence against these communities. It saddens us greatly to write to you on this issue, yet again and so soon, to mourn the lives of the eight people killed in Atlanta, GA earlier this week.

We must continue to overcome hate, to denounce all forms of violence. We must continue to exercise our values and implement our action plans to nurture an inclusive university environment, and global citizens who are prepared to lead change for the good of society. We stand with the AAPI community and against the rising levels of violence, xenophobia, harassment and other forms of discrimination against Asian and other minority groups.

In the coming weeks, we will be hosting three virtual community healing sessions focused on overcoming hate. They will be offered via Zoom and facilitated by faculty, staff and community partners with expertise in community healing practices. The sessions will be held:

  • March 24 at 5 p.m.
  • April 7 at 7 p.m.
  • April 20 at 7 p.m.

The sessions will provide a space for us to explore practical ways to strive for a healthier culture, both on campus and in our society, and to stand up against hatred as a unified community. We will have additional details on event registration and speakers in the coming days.

We also remind all students, faculty and staff of the channels available to exercise their voice against any form of bias or harassment. If you have been the target of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or bias-motivated acts or behaviors, or have witnessed or heard about a bias-related incident, please use our Bias Incident Reporting Form. Students who may need support in response to these recent events can access the professional counseling services available to them by emailing or calling 203-582-8680.

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