Dear colleagues and students,
Yesterday, we awoke to reporting of a mass shooting in Atlanta. This rampage left 8 people dead -- 6 of them Asian women. This event has brought increased attention to violence, discrimination, and increased levels of animosity and xenophobia experienced by Asian Americans over the recent past and, particularly, in the past year. Asian Americans have a long history of oppression, discrimination, and active hostility throughout our nation's history. However, this history and current situation are not always recognized or acknowledged.
As a School of Social Work, we are committed to recognizing, addressing, and fighting all types of oppression, inequality, and discrimination. As we collectively work our way through this latest assault on life, safety, and well-being, we renew our commitment to supporting our Asian colleagues and friends, to fighting for justice broadly, and to recognizing and fighting the myriad facets of racism, xenophobia, and hate that consume our country. As I reflect on this latest incarnation of divisions, discrimination, and violence, I'm reminded of how each of these instances build cumulatively on each other. We are not experiencing these attacks and violence in a vacuum -- racism, xenophobia, misogyny, governmental actions that actively perpetuate these problems, and an increased focus across the nation on the widespread effects of these factors on the lives of people in the global majority (i.e., people of color) all surround each incident, so the effects extend well beyond the families and communities immediately affected.
Today, as we learn about Pitt and CMU's new collaborative center to dismantle white supremacist groups; as we think about ways that we are working as a school to become more fully anti-racist, intersectional, and anti-oppressive; we must do all we can, as who we are, from where we stand. We ALL have a role to play in making this the world we want to live in! Please take care -- of yourselves and each other. We CAN be better than this!