Statement on the rise of anti-Asian violence across the nation
March 18, 2021 9:58 AM
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
The news of Tuesday’s shooting of eight people, six of Asian descent, in the Atlanta area is difficult to watch. While we may not yet know the details behind this tragic violence, the anxiety and sense of unease during a period of a sharp rise in anti-Asian and anti-Asian American violence cannot be ignored. According to the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, incidents of anti-Asian hate and bias increased 149% in 2020, while overall hate crimes dropped 7%.
As the Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations observed in their statement earlier this month, xenophobia and anti-Asian racism have an entrenched, systemic history in our nation. The resurgence of these anti-Asian patterns of discrimination and hate throughout the past year only intensifies the need for us to stand in clear solidarity against all forms of violence, misogyny and bias. Ensuring equity for every member of our society is essential to the health and well-being of each one of us. Our community must stand together united in support of one another. As a university that researches the roots of racial injustice, health and economic disparities, we must also reject the targeting, blame and scapegoating of racism and xenophobia. Above all, we are committed to providing a safe, open and welcoming environment for all members of our community.
One’s race, ethnicity, identity, religion or national origin should never be used as a threat against anyone’s physical or emotional safety. If you experience an incident of bias or discrimination in our community, please report it to the Bias Assessment and Response Team at bart.illinois.edu. Additionally, the Asian American Cultural Center will be hosting a workshop on how to intervene to stop anti-Asian American harassment and xenophobia. For more information, please visit their webpage at oiir.illinois.edu/aacc.
The success of our university rests firmly on the principle of inviting the best and brightest into our community and supporting each and every person’s capacity to thrive. At Illinois, we bring the world to Urbana-Champaign where the sharing of diverse perspectives, life experiences and ideas transforms lives. To our Asian and Asian American students, faculty, staff and community members, we want you to know that you are not alone. We recognize the collective anxiety, fear and trauma that can result from violent acts, even those committed hundreds or thousands of miles away. We stand with you in solidarity as we continue the work necessary to advance the values of equity and inclusion for all.
Robert J. Jones
Sean C. Garrick
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion