A message from Dean Valery Forbes sent March 18, 2021:
Earlier this week, we learned of the violent attacks in Atlanta that resulted in the deaths of eight people, most of them women of Asian descent. These reprehensible acts are consistent with a widespread pattern of violence against Asian Americans and women in this country.
This incident is one of many violent acts against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders over the past year. We know that instances of racial discrimination have increased exponentially during the pandemic. President Joe Biden signed an executive order denouncing anti-Asian discrimination in January in repsonse to this rise in anti-Asian sentiment. The U.S. House of Representatives just reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act, underscoring the unfortunate fact that women continue to need protection from attacks of this kind.
President Gabel cited Regents Professor Dr. Erika Lee’s testimony before Congress (starting at 1:22) in which she describes the history of anti-Asian violence in this country and notes the disproportionate impact of violence on women in these communities. Learning this painful history and standing in solidarity with those impacted and demanding change is critical. We join calls to put an end to such violence and support all those impacted by these hateful acts.
These incidents weigh heavily on many and affect the well-being and work of our faculty, staff and students, so we ask that you continue to support our community members with empathy, flexibility and understanding. Please know resources are available here at the University to provide support and assistance. Here are just a few places to start.
- Student mental health resources
- Faculty and staff mental health resources
- UMN Bias Response and Referral Network