As colleagues in the College of Natural Sciences, College of Engineering, and College of Information and Computer Sciences, we feel compelled to speak out about the surge in acts of racial violence against members of the Asian community. Between our three colleges, we serve over half of the Asian-American student population at the University of Massachusetts. The recent murders of women of Asian descent in their workplaces is an act of terror that has taken place in the context of an epidemic of thousands of anti-Asian hate incidents reported over the past year, over two-thirds of which have been directed at women of Asian descent. In this context, these murders cannot be seen as an anomaly, but as part of a long history of institutionalized violence, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia against Asians and Asian Americans in the United States. We condemn this racist vitriol, violence, and xenophobia against all Asians in the strongest possible terms.
As we work together to create a more inclusive STEM community at the University of Massachusetts, we recognize the importance of acknowledging the different historical trajectories that brought us to this shared place, as well as the different historical oppressions that many of us have faced. We know and celebrate our differences because we know that the outcome of a safe, diverse community is innovation. Our colleges benefit, our campus community benefits, and science benefits when we are all welcomed, supported, and protected. We will not allow these acts of racialized violence to stop us in our important work, or the joy we receive when we engage in it.
To the members of our community who are hurting and angry this week, we stand in solidarity with you. To the members of our community who are moved to action, we invite you to participate in a campus-wide conversation about creating safety and respect for our Asian and Asian-American community members, to be held April 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Please clink on this link for more information and to register for the event.
Tricia R. Serio, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences
Laura Haas, Dean, College of Information and Computer Sciences
Sanjay Raman, Dean, College of Engineering
Linda Ziegenbein, College of Natural Sciences, Office of Student Success and Diversity
Erika Lynn Dawson, Head, College of Information and Computer Sciences, Office of Diversity and Inclusive Community Development
Stephen Fernandez, Paula Rees, College of Engineering, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office
Elizabeth Connor, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Development
Peter Holden, Associate Dean for Finance, Administration and Operations
Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Interim Associate Dean for Faculty, Graduate and Postdoctoral Development
Mark Tuominen, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation
Jody Jellison, Director for the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Agricultural Research and Engagement
Nilanjana (Buju) Dasgupta, Director of Faculty Equity and Inclusion
Jennifer McDermott, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Karen Whelan-Berry, Director of Faculty Development and Programs
Below are some resources that you may find useful.
A number of Stop Asian Hate rallies and vigils have been organized recently, like the ones held locally, in Amherst and Springfield, on March 28.