Dear Rackham Students,
I am writing with words of support and sympathy for all who are struggling with the aftermath of the attacks in Atlanta, in which eight people, six of Asian descent and seven of whom were women, were killed. These attacks are experienced as another in a series of xenophobic and hateful incidents of aggression and racialized violence that have occurred in the United States, in addition to a troubling history of misogyny and violence against women.
According to the group Stop AAPI Hate, the number of reported hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), ranging from harassment to physical assaults, has risen sharply over the past year. These hostilities, along with others that go unreported, have contributed to an environment of pain and anxiety for members of Asian and AAPI communities across the nation.
I want to be sure you have seen the strong statements of support from President Mark Schlissel, Chief Diversity Officer Rob Sellers, and Rackham student groups, along with the resources a number of AAPI staff, faculty, and student groups have come together to produce. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) also offers these thoughts on xenophobia, racial biases, and promoting inclusion. Incidents can be reported through the Dean of Students or the Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS).
I encourage you to review these sources of information produced by members of our campus community. An inclusive culture is central to the vitality of the graduate school; through our actions to counter discrimination and harm, we uphold Rackham’s values of trust and respect. I thank you for the many ways that members of our community can support each other at this difficult time.
This article was updated on March 22 to highlight the role of misogyny and violence against women in the attacks.