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Standing with our Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander community members

Standing with our Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander community members

Posted by:
March 26, 2021

In light of the shootings in the greater metro Atlanta area earlier this month, we yet again mourn in the wake of an act of senseless violence. The impact on Asian and Asian American women nationwide — in conjunction with the rise in hate crimes directed at Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander community members — cannot and should not be ignored. We mourn with and stand with our Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander community members during this deeply painful time.

Accordingly, many of our community members may be feeling particularly vulnerable and distressed. Please check in with them. Faculty and staff, please provide space in your classes, co-curricular activities, or places of employment — regardless of your subject matter or the focus of your normal activities — for students and colleagues alike to share how they are feeling and what they are thinking (as they are moved to do so). As Therese A. Huston and Michele DiPietro discovered in their research about addressing tragedies within higher education, inaction in the face of tragedy is the least effective response. For tips on how to address this and other tragedies in learning and living spaces at PLU, the Teaching in Times of Crisis guide developed by the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University is excellent and succinct.

To all of our community members, we also urge you to utilize and connect fellow Lutes to our campus support communities and resources, including but not limited to the Student Care Network; Counseling, Health, & Wellness Services; Campus Ministry, Center for Gender Equity; and the Diversity Center.

Finally, as we mourn the victims of the Atlanta shootings — Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, and the others yet to be named in the news — let us also reflect on the history of anti-Asian violence in our Greater Tacoma community. Addressing this history and its connection to current acts of violence and hate starts with an ongoing commitment to learning and listening. In this spirit, Mortvedt Library has curated a guide of resources to support understanding violence, hate, and disasters — which includes sections on “Anti-Asian Discrimination,” “Racism, Hate, and Bias,” and “Gun Violence.”

We look forward to a time when such messages of mourning, solidarity, and resources become fewer and farther between. Until then, please take care and reach out to those who may need extra support, as you have capacity to do so.

In community,

Allan Belton

Joanna Gregson
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Joanna Royce-Davis
Vice President for Student Life