Dear members of the University community,
A study issued earlier this month concluded that hate crimes against members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities have risen in the United States by nearly 150% in the past year. This sharp, startling and deplorable increase in racially fueled attacks against people of Asian descent comes amid an overall nationwide decline in hate crimes during the same period.
Last summer, our nation and community confronted yet again instances of racial violence and discrimination. At that time, I reaffirmed the University’s rejection of those corrosive forces and its steadfast embrace of equality, equity, social justice and respect for all.
Then, as now, those principles extend to the members of the University’s Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities. Indeed, they extend to all members of the University family.
The University condemns racism, sexism, stereotyping, discrimination, bigotry and phobias of any sort. We reject violence in all its forms and acknowledge that an attack – whether verbal or physical – on any member of the University family is an attack on every member of the University family.
Differences and distinctions strengthen, while destructive beliefs and actions erode – and that is simply unacceptable to us as individuals and counter to our values as an institution.
The University stands with members of our Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities. We acknowledge their grief and fear, and as members of their extended family, we offer our support.
As an academic institution, we have a special responsibility to model principles of civility, respect and understanding for our campus and wider community. Moreover, it is our duty to embody inclusivity and embrace diversity, and to educate others about their power.
Leaving a better world in which no person or group lives in fear because of their difference requires a commitment from all of us.
I am committed – and so is the University.
Dr. Joseph Savoie