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Violence Against AAPI Community

A message from President Suzanne Rivera

Dear Macalester Community,

Yesterday’s deadly and abhorrent attacks in Georgia are deeply upsetting and frightening but, sadly, are not surprising. We know these events will be especially troubling for members of the Mac community who identify as Asian, Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI). We see you and we stand with you.

Over the last year, we have seen in this country an increase in violence against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. As I noted in my remarks during our Community Conversation last week, we are deeply concerned that these hate crimes appear motivated by the toxic combination of prejudice and the deliberate promotion of misinformation about the genesis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That said, we know the current rise in anti-Asian bias associated with COVID-19 is not an isolated problem. It is a continuation of a long history in the U.S. of vilifying and scapegoating people of Asian heritage. We also know that racism directed at people of Asian ancestry must be seen as part of the broader history of prejudice in this country, including anti-Black, anti-Native, anti-Latinx, and anti-Muslim sentiments. At Macalester, we denounce racism in all its forms, we actively work to oppose it, and we stand in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander students, faculty, staff, alumni, and their communities at this difficult time. 

If any students need support or assistance, please know that staff at the Hamre Center, the Department of Multicultural Life, and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life are available.  Employees who seek support are encouraged to access our EAP services, which are detailed here.  Also, staff and faculty who wish to connect can join our AAPI employee affinity group by emailing [email protected].

If you have experienced anti-Asian violence or bias, there are resources available to you. Please reach out to Regina Curran, Title IX Coordinator and Nondiscrimination Officer at [email protected]. If you are in Minnesota, you can make a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights here. In addition, Stop AAPI Hate tracks incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide. Regina Curran also can help with navigating these external resources if anyone would appreciate her assistance.

I want to direct all members of our community to programming that is being offered by the DML, the Institute for Global Citizenship, and the American Studies Department to address anti-Asian violence. One such event will be hosted by the DML on Friday at noon: “Xenophobia and Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans.” Members of the Mac community are encouraged to watch Mac Daily for announcements about additional programming.

In this year that has brought us so much pain and loss, the need for compassion and understanding is greater than ever. Please let me know directly if there is more we can do to support you at this time.

March 17, 2021