March 12, 2021
Dear HESA Community,
It is, again, with heavy hearts that we reach out to you to name, acknowledge and reckon with racial violence impacting our communities. In particular, our Asian and Asian American communities are under attack. Everywhere we turn, we are surrounded by racial injustices and increasing onslaught of anti-Asian violence across our nation. These acts of racial violence are reprehensible and ones that we condemn.
While we have witnessed an increase in racial violence in Asian and Asian American communities ignited by the COVID-19 pandemic, sadly, racist attacks on these communities are not new. There is a long their/her/history in our nation of racial violence inflicted on Asians and Asian Americans through discriminatory public policies, exclusionary social institutions, and racist actions by individuals.
We are sickened by the increase in racial violence toward our Asian and Asian American communities, and are weary of the continued reminders of racism that mar our society.
We also take this opportunity to uplift and share our utmost support for the powerful Statement on Anti-Asian Violence issued by the Executive Board of the Association for Asian American Faculty and Staff, Asian American Cultural Center, and Asian and Asian American Studies Institute.
We also strongly encourage our HESA community to attend a virtual panel that will take place on March 18 at 5pm ET “Asians in America: Anti-Asian Violence and the Fight Against Invisibility” which will feature UConn students, faculty, and staff; provide perspectives on today’s climate and its impact on UConn’s Asian and Asian American community. To register for the event, please click here.
Lastly, while we (HESA), pride ourselves in working hard to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, we recognize that we too can and must do better to support, include, and grow our Asian and Asian American community members. We take this charge seriously and commit to continuing to make progress within HESA to be more equitable in the work that we do. Some of the work that we will continue and improve upon are the following:
- Enhance our curriculum and course syllabi to be more critically-inclusive of Asian and Asian American experiences in higher education;
- Host a set of teach-ins on April 7th at 3:30PM for our first-year students and April 8th at 10:00AM for our second-year students to better demonstrate our commitment to a more critically-inclusive curriculum; and
- Continue to work with our campus partners to share and receive best practices on cultural competencies and solidarity initiatives.
We look forward to sharing this progress as we move ahead with this important work.
Your HESA Faculty