Our hearts are filled with sorrow by the horrific killing in Atlanta on March 16, 2021, in which six of the victims were women of Asian descent. This senseless act came in the midst of a deeply troubling spike in incidents of hatred and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and people of Asian descent in our country. At least one of those incidents happened close to home. Fear and concern had already been felt across the Asian and AAPI communities, which the Atlanta shooting only deepened. The whitewashing statement of the Sheriff’s spokesman in Cherokee county that the shooter “had a bad day” indicates something more insidious about the atmosphere.
Asian and AAPI staff and faculty make critical contributions to the vibrancy and functioning of our department. Asian and AAPI students comprise a significant percentage of our student enrollment at all levels. Yet, now they are confronted by the heightened hostility fueled by misinformation and xenophobia. Many simply began to fear for their safety, especially students who are far away from their family. That is one of many reasons why it is imperative at this moment that we as the economics leadership reaffirm, and recommit to, our mission and identity as a global community grounded in principles of inclusion, diversity, truth, and justice.
To the Asian and AAPI members of our economics community, we stand with you in sorrow and solidarity. We will not tolerate xenophobia and hatred and we condemn anti-Asian violence in the strongest terms. We are here for you.
Should you have any concerns or suggestions for what the department can do to provide a more inclusive and supportive environment for you, please reach out to the DEI Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). We also encourage individuals to utilize campus and community resources to support their mental, physical, and emotional well-being during this traumatic time:
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee
Ananth Seshadri, Chair of the Department of Economics
Christopher Taber, Associate Chair of the Department of Economics