We once again saw heartbreaking violence in our country last night. A gunman took eight lives in Georgia. Six of the victims have been identified as Asian.
As details unfold and new questions arise, what is front and center for us is the fear and pain that UWO students, faculty and staff members and the broader community are facing. This latest incident occurs as our nation experiences an increase in anti-Asian sentiment, bias incidents and attacks.
I reaffirm what I shared a year ago this week as the onset of pandemic fed racist stigmas and bias around the globe: bigotry has no place at UWO. It threatens our safe campuses, jeopardizes our mental and emotional health and is destructive to the inclusive institution we are creating.
Healing statements and reminders of our values are starting points in our work to become an anti-racist institution. Advocates and allies on our campuses are the game-changers.
The UWO Counseling Center exists to sustain us. Students: help is available any time you need it. Faculty and staff members have a host of supports available in our employee assistance programs. The team in Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence is also here to listen and offer support and resources: firstname.lastname@example.org. And we continue to encourage anyone who hears, sees or experiences hate, bias and racism in life, learning and service at UWO, to file a bias incident report. This is one of the most fundamental tools we have to activate the people and processes we rely on to help classmates, colleagues and the institution pursue and achieve justice.
This post was originally shared as an email to the UWO campus community on March 17, 2021.