The past few weeks have been difficult even against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic, and we are writing to check in with you. During Black History Month, we saw an uptick in violence against AAPI people. On February 16, Julia Li was shot and murdered while she was driving in St. Paul, MN. Two days prior, on February 14, Christina Yuna Lee was murdered in her home in New York City. On January 15, also in New York, a man pushed Michelle Alyssa Go to her death off a train platform. These attacks come in the wake of the mass shooting that took place less than a year ago in Atlanta on March 16, 2021, in which a man murdered eight people, six of whom were Asian and Asian-American women. The Antioch MFA stands in solidarity with the movement to Stop AAPI Hate and recognizes and remembers the victims of these hate crimes.
Last Tuesday, February 22, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to his state’s Department of Family and Protective Services, calling on it to “conduct a prompt and thorough investigation” of any reported instances of minors undergoing “elective procedures for gender transitioning.” This letter is the latest step in an ongoing assault on the rights of transgender people across the United States. The Antioch MFA recognizes that this act endangers transgender children and their families, and pledges our support to trans people everywhere.
Two days later, on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces. Along with the rest of the world, we have watched in horror at the violence and fighting that has unfolded as the Ukrainian people resist occupation. We know that this latest stage of Russo-Ukrainian War is only one of several violent conflicts unfolding around the world at this moment, and we also want to recognize the struggles of the Yemeni, Palestinian, and Somali people, to name just a few, as well as the plight of the African migrants living in Ukraine who have faced racism and particular difficulty in their attempts to flee the war. The Antioch MFA stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people’s struggle, and with the right of people all over the world to safety and peace.
All of the above events, and many other ongoing crises not mentioned in this letter, impact the lives of members of our community directly and indirectly. Many of us feel stress, anxiety, and the difficulty of focusing on creative work and daily life at this time. We are reaching out to recognize the extraordinary trauma of this moment and to offer our support to you, our students and alumni, in any way we can. We are here to help, and although our experiences of and connections to the intensity of the past weeks are different, we are in this together.
Please reach out and let us know if we can be of assistance to you in any way, and know we are thinking of you and your well-being at this time.
The MFA Team