Standing With the Asian Community
Posted on March 18, 2021
I despair that I have write to you once again in the wake of a senseless and hate-filled murder of innocent fellow Americans. This time it was the killing of eight people in Georgia, six of them of Asian descent. This heinous act is part of an alarming and dramatic increase in violent attacks on Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans across the country. Sadly, the xenophobia and racism that drive such acts – fueled presently by ignorance about the pandemic – has long been part of the Asian American experience, going back to the exploitive use of Chinese labor, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and the casually racist remarks that frequently get no rebuke, even in public and political discourse. It’s shameful and I stand with Asian members of the SNHU community and across the country in condemning it.
SNHU must remain a model of inclusivity within the broader community. Internally, we must also show up for all of our colleagues who feel threatened and newly vulnerable today. We have long enjoyed the presence of international students from Asia, have many Asian American employees, and maintain partnerships with institutions in a number of Asian countries. I hope you will join me in demonstrating with word and deed our collective support for our students, colleagues, and partners. As we learned during the racial reckoning of 2020, we cannot ask those who are victimized to be our teachers. NASPA has shared an excellent set of resources that I have included below:
- APISAA Therapist Directory by the American Health Collective
- Combatting Anti-Asian Racism, Harvard University
- Anti-Racism Resources for the AAPI Community, Cornell University
- Toolkit for Anti-Asian Racism, information toolkit on anti-Asian Xenophobia and Racism, Seattle University
I sometimes say that my job is that of storyteller-in-chief, but when I see news footage of such horrors as old men out for simple neighborhood walks being brutally attacked in broad daylight because they are Asian, I find myself at a loss for what story to tell. It feels utterly senseless. It is utterly senseless. So I am left to tell instead the SNHU story, which is one of compassion, love, and kindness. Let’s make sure that all members of our community are feeling those qualities and do all we can to leave no room for racism and hate. America feels broken right now, so we must continue our work to be part of the solution so our neighbors and co-workers, and their children and grandchildren, never have to fear for their safety or dignity.