After a year of countless tragedies, our nation is now grappling with another horrific act of violence in the fatal shooting of eight people, including six Asian women, in Atlanta this week. Our hearts are with the families and friends of these victims, and with the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities dealing with appalling incidents of violence and hate.
Crimes targeting Asians have increased dramatically over the past year. In the U.S., nearly 3,800 instances of discrimination against Asians have been reported – and this number likely only touches the surface. These acts derive from ignorance and hate, and their effects are tangible and chilling. We have much work to do to ensure that everyone feels safe, supported, and welcome in this nation.
Those efforts begin here, within our own community. Diversity lies at the heart of the liberal arts, and we value diversity in all dimensions. Embracing and supporting people of all cultures and backgrounds strengthens our school and its educational mission. We support scholarly efforts that shed light on injustices, lead to greater understanding, and broaden the national discourse to expose the ways in which communities are targeted and impacted.
We must continue to support each other and push ourselves to foster the diversity that is essential to our community. Our Bias Report and Support System is a resource for anyone who experiences or witnesses discrimination at WashU. We take these incidents seriously and strive to intervene proactively. Human Resources and the Habif Health and Wellness Center also offer lines of support for faculty, staff, and students.
This is a dark time in our collective experience. But with the strength of our community, we will continue working toward a more safe and just country for all.
Feng Sheng Hu
Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Lucille P. Markey Distinguished Professor