IAS Letter of Support to our AAPI Students


Dear IAS Students,

As we begin Spring Quarter, we are once again bearing witness to the rise of anti-Asian violence, rhetoric, and discrimination in the U.S. These letters and statements have become far too common within the university and the public at large. While statements might feel devoid of action, we believe it is our duty as your teachers, advisors, mentors, and community to publicly state that we vehemently condemn the violence towards Asians/Asian Americans that have been occurring in the U.S. From the streets of Oakland, CA and the greater Bay Area, the boroughs of New York City, the spa in Atlanta, and countless other acts of violence that go unnoticed/unreported/unmentioned in the mass media, we recognize what is going on and are deeply disturbed. As the UW Tri-Campus Solidarity and Equity Network expressed in their joint message, “in addition to the dozens of attacks targeting Asian elders, Asian Americans were being wrongfully blamed for the COVID-19 pandemic and this past year hate crimes among Asian communities were increasing…with reports going unnoticed.” We acknowledge that, as with the brutal murders in Atlanta, violence against Asian communities is intersectional, entwined with misogyny, imperialism, and xenophobia. We condemn the white supremacist systems of power and value that render some bodies more disposable than others, and we join with you to mark and mourn the lives that have been lost. 

We know that mental health has worsened for many during this pandemic, and that witnessing and learning of these acts of violence in the Bay Area and Atlanta can increase the need for help. We also know that asking for help is not easy. As we enter this quarter, we ask for you to each look out for one another. Check in with your peers, your faculty, advisors, and co-workers. Meet one another from a place of love, respect, empathy, and kindness. Be understanding that we are collectively working within a pandemic, yet we are all experiencing different levels of pain and trauma. 

We want you to know that the campus is working to create virtual spaces for healing and building community, and events that celebrate being a member of the AAPI community. As events are announced, we will be encouraging your faculty to share these opportunities with you on your class Canvas pages. These continued experiences of collective trauma take a toll on you as a person and as a student. If you find yourself in need of support, please reach out to our campus resources and centers:

Most of all, please know IAS is here for you.

In Solidarity,
Janelle M. Silva, Associate Dean of Diversity and Equity in IAS
Raissa DeSmet, Chair of IAS Diversity Committee
Naomi Macalalad Bragin, IAS Diversity Committee member
IAS Faculty and Staff

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