Statement on Anti-Asian Incidents
Over the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a disturbing rise in anti-Asian sentiment and hate incidents. Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate (https://stopaapihate.org/), a hate tracker created last year by several groups, has recorded more than 2,800 incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asians and Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Americans (APIDA) between March and December 2020. On Tuesday, eight people were murdered, including six Asian women, in the Atlanta area, further raising the level of fear and concern. In a speech last week, President Joe Biden specifically called out the “vicious hate crimes against Asian-Americans, who have been attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated.”
The Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UVA mourns the loss of these lives in Atlanta, and we stand in firm solidarity with Asian and APIDA students, faculty, staff, and local community members who have experienced acts of racism, xenophobia, and related harassment since the COVID pandemic first began.
Anti-Asian and APIDA harassment and violence must be challenged and stopped and each of us has a role to play. We must continue to do the hard work that will help ensure that our future is different, more just, more accepting, and more inclusive. The future we envision is one in which the devaluing of the basic humanity of others is no longer accepted.
Part of building for a more just future includes facing and understanding our past, and how we arrived at the place we are today. We encourage you to read “‘A Race So Different’: Asians and Asian Americans in UVA’s History” by UVA Professor Sylvia Chong, in order to better understand our own institution’s past. We would also like to highlight the recent survey and report by the Asian Student Union at UVA, which shares the vibrancy, excellence, and impact of the APIDA community at UVA.
Finally, we want to make sure students, faculty, and staff are aware of University resources for support and reporting. If you witness or are the victim of harassment or a bias attack, please do not hesitate to report the incident via UVA’s Just Report It. We also encourage you to make use of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) if at any time you feel as though you have been a target of discrimination or if you feel unsafe and need support.
We must come together to name and resist the invisibility of Asian American issues in our diversity, equity, and inclusion dialogue, and we must stand up for each other to ensure a more inclusive and just nation and UVA community going forward. Our Division commits to being more intentional in this space and in support of our Asian American community.