Dear fellow Terrapins,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today as senseless violence in our country continues. Last week, the deadly attack in Atlanta only emphasized the surge in anti-Asian sentiment that has plagued our country.
I stand in solidarity with members of the Asian and Asian American community and condemn these senseless acts of hate and violence. We must unite to fight against this hate.
Events and Resources
I want to thank the many student organizations and offices in Student Affairs and Diversity and Inclusion who have created events and resources to support the Asian and Asian American communities during these trying times. I will be attending the vigil on Wednesday, and encourage you to consider taking part in these events as well.
Candlelight Vigil: Anti-Asian Hate Crime Victims
Wednesday, March 24, 6 p.m., McKeldin Mall
AAPI Community Processing Space
Thursday, March 25, 4 p.m.
What's in a Name? The Significance of Asian American, AAPI, APIDA, and More
Thursday, March 25, 6 p.m.
The Circle: Centering the AAPI Community
Tuesday, March 30, 4 p.m.
I also encourage you to read the recent story in Maryland Today, “Shootings Followed ‘Intensified Feeling of Anxiety’ in Asian American Communities,” featuring Dr. Janelle Wong, professor of American studies and government and politics, and a faculty member in the Asian American Studies Program at UMD, explaining the history of anti-Asian bias, the impact of political and economic instability and the importance of reaching across racial lines.
A firm commitment
I want to recognize Governor Hogan’s commitment to this issue and support his announcement encouraging victims and witnesses to report incidents to the state’s Hate Crimes Hotline (1-866-481-8361). He also announced he will urge Congress to pass legislation to improve and expand the reporting of hate crimes, and called on federal and state prosecutors to investigate alleged hate crimes.
It is important to reiterate the message of Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Georgina Dodge and Vice President for Student Affairs Patty Perillo: “We condemn the attacks on Asian and Asian American individuals and communities at the same time that we speak out against the harm done to so many identity groups for centuries. Let's unite and support members of the Asian and Asian American communities throughout this pandemic and beyond.”
While we do not yet know all of the facts about yesterday’s fatal shooting in Colorado, it adds to our burden of grief and our fear in the face of perpetual violence. There is much work and healing ahead, and so I ask that every member of our community join together in the name of unity, respect and empathy.
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland