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March 2021: Joint Statement: Solidarity With Our Asian & Asian American Community Members

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As colleagues in the College of Natural Sciences, College of Engineering, and College of Information and Computer Sciences, we feel compelled to speak out about the surge in acts of racial violence against members of the Asian community. Between our three colleges, we serve over half of the Asian American student population at the University of Massachusetts. The recent murders of women of Asian descent in their workplaces is an act of terror that has taken place in the context of an epidemic of thousands of anti-Asian hate incidents reported over the past year, over two-thirds of which have been directed at women of Asian descent. In this context, these murders cannot be seen as an anomaly, but as part of a long history of institutionalized violence, racism, misogyny and xenophobia against Asians and Asian Americans in the United States. We condemn this racist vitriol, violence, and xenophobia against all Asians in the strongest possible terms.

As we work together to create a more inclusive STEM community at the University of Massachusetts, we recognize the importance of acknowledging the different historical trajectories that brought us to this shared place, as well as the different historical oppressions that many of us have faced. We know and celebrate our differences because we know that the outcome of a safe, diverse community is innovation. Our colleges benefit, our campus community benefits, and science benefits when we are all welcomed, supported, and protected. We will not allow these acts of racialized violence to stop us in our important work, or the joy we receive when we engage in it.

To the members of our community who are hurting and angry this week, we stand in solidarity with you. To the members of our community who are moved to action, we invite you to participate in a campus-wide conversation about creating safety and respect for our Asian and Asian American community members, to be held on April 5th. We will follow up with details about this event soon.

In Solidarity,

Sanjay Raman
Dean, College of Engineering

Stephen Fernandez
Paula Rees
Promise Mchenga
College of Engineering, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Tricia Serio
Dean, College of Natural Sciences

Laura Haas
Dean, College of Information and Computer Sciences

Linda Ziegenbein
College of Natural Sciences, Office of Student Success and Diversity

Erika Lynn Dawson Head
College of Information and Computer Sciences, Office of Diversity and Inclusive Community Development

Nilanjana Buju Dasgupta
College of Natural Sciences, Director of Faculty Equity & Inclusion

Resources:
Anti-Asian Attacks Rise During Pandemic. Read NPR’s Stories On The Surge In Violence
Free Online Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment 
Center for Counseling and Psychological Health
UMass Office of Equity and Inclusion
CNS Office of Student Success and Diversity
CICS Office of Diversity and Inclusive Community Development
ENGIN Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion