As Campus Provost and member of the newly formed Antioch University Anti-Racism Task Force, I am writing about the most recent mass shooting in Georgia on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Tragically, eight people were killed, six of whom were Asian women. I write with an acknowledgment of the deeply disturbing nature of these murders for members of our academic community and larger Santa Barbara community.
We have witnessed the news reports about the increase in anti-Asian violence over the past year during the pandemic. The COVID-19 virus had been publicly characterized in unacceptable, extremely harmful, and racist ways far too often. Akin to the devastating anti-Black acts of violence, this is not a new situation for our country, but has existed for many years and has escalated over the course of the pandemic.
As an academic learning community at an institution of higher education we have a responsibility to increase our awareness of the systemic and structural racism in our country and institutions, and take actions to counter these systems and dismantle them. In other words, we cannot sit in silence.
Racial trauma has been mounting to significant levels, and may impact colleagues, friends, and family members in substantial, yet imperceptible ways. This is also an opportunity to be mindful of each other and extend kindness and a willing ear when needed.
I have enclosed a number of resources to enhance awareness, increase knowledge, and assist in integrating strategies in the classroom so as to make the necessary space to address issues of racism. The resources are intended to contribute to collective knowledge in the hopes of empowering everyone to advance social justice, as we combat and condemn racist actions that oppress our families, friends, students, staff, and faculty.
On March 18, a U.S. Congressional hearing was held on discrimination and violence against Asian Americans, which you can watch here. Also available is the Stop AAPI Hate National Report released on March 16, 2021. If you have additional resources, you may send those to Dr. Christine Forte ([email protected]). Perhaps we can share resources with one another as we have previously done with our Library’s LibGuide webpages on racism and white privilege.
I encourage all members of our community to stand together in solidarity with Asian and Asian-American students, staff, and faculty during this difficult time. As we do so, we stand together against hate and violence, in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, Latinx, immigrant, and sexual/gender minority communities.
Awareness and Action Resources*
In heartfelt solidarity with our Asian colleagues against anti-Asian hate,
* Thank you to Antioch Seattle colleagues for compiling many of the national resources.
Barbara Lipinski, PhD, JD
Provost and Chief Executive Officer
Antioch University Santa Barbara