Statement on Anti-Asian Violence
A message from Melanie Hart, Senior Vice President of Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice and Chief Diversity Officer
Mass shootings and senseless violence are a seemingly curable pandemic in the United States, and yet we continue to experience the vicious cycle of violence, killings, grief, and outrage. From the mass shootings, violence and killings in Boulder, Colorado, Chicago, Illinois, and Atlanta, Georgia, the loss of life and impact of violence is at once heartbreaking and infuriating. This must spur us all to action.
While violence is far too commonplace in this nation, we recognize that there are groups experiencing a significant increase in victimization based on their intersectional identities including race, gender, and ethnicity. At times like this when structural inequality manifests in specific and targeted acts of hate and violence, it can be difficult to calibrate an appropriate response. What is a response to the senseless killing of innocent people? Statements can seem hollow when addressing years of erasure, marginalization, stereotyping, discrimination and murder that the Asian community suffers. And yet here we are grieving and struggling to respond to the most current iteration of attacks upon the Asian community.
With a clear-eyed and full-throated rejection of anti-Asian violence, The New School unequivocally condemns violence against the Asian community. The recent murders in Atlanta are rife with the legacy of misogynistic, gendered racism that impacts the Asian community. It is a structural violence that Women of Color understand and face all too often. And yet we know that our written condemnation and voice of solidarity are insufficient. There must be more we can do and we must do our part. We must do the work as an institution of higher education to support our community and change the world in which we all live.
We begin by standing together. We must stand together and have the difficult conversations that are required to explore the structural issues that led us here. We must engage in the challenging conversations about the diasporic Asian community that extend beyond stereotypes and division. We must center the narrative of the Asian community, in all of its diversity and voices, and support those voices to find solutions toward social justice within our institution.
As the Office of Equity of Inclusion and Social Justice, we invite our community, centering and led by the members of our Asian community, to engage in dialogue to develop solutions, strategies and tangible next steps for our community. The goal of this statement is to not only join the chorus of voices in solidarity, but also to invite our community to unite to work toward effective change. Please sign up here to join this work.