To the Williams Community,
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, Asian and Asian-American communities around the country have increasingly been subjected to anti-Asian discriminaton and hate crimes. Iona Cheng, Noel Quintana, Vicha Ratanapakdee. These are names you may have read in the news this year. Each met hate-motivated violence while walking home, riding the subway to work, or taking a morning stroll. These attacks are not isolated–in the past twelve months, there have been nearly 3,000 reported incidents of racist and xenophobic attacks against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and we know many similar attacks go unreported.
Our hearts go out to the victims of these crimes, their families, and Asian communities across the country. These horrendous attacks underscore a reality too often concealed by the myth of the “model minority”: that basic safety, inclusion, and full citizenship remain elusive for many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
To Asian-identifying members of the Williams community, on campus and beyond, we recognize the likely emotional, psychological, and physical stresses brought on by anti-Asian acts and rhetoric, and by your efforts to support loved ones and community. Please be reminded that there are offices and programs across campus (OIDEI, Intergrative Wellness Services, the Davis Center, the Dean’s Office, the Employee Assistance Program) to support you if you are in need, would like to discuss these challenges, or have experienced discrimination based on your identities, either on campus or off. If you or someone you know becomes the target of anti-Asian harassment on campus, please report it via our bias incident reporting form.
We will continue to deepen our understanding of the experiences of Asians and Asian Americans and be thoughtful about the ways in which we can counter hate. Throughout the semester, the office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in collaboration with the American Studies Program, will co-host a series of panels and speakers addressing Asian American experiences and anti-Asian violence during the pandemic. Please be on the lookout for more information on this series in the coming days.
We hope you will join us in staying engaged.
Maud, Leticia and Ngoni