March 18, 2021
Keena Williams, chief belonging officer, and Dr. Mathew Johnson, president of Albion College, shared the following message with the Albion College community earlier today.
Dear Albion Community,
Over the past year, we have seen a national rise in racism and violence against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Anti-Asian racism has a long history in America that has only been compounded by hate and harassment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We stand firmly with our AAPI students, faculty, staff and alumni in opposing racism, hate, violence and discrimination. We are horrified by the murders of eight people in the Atlanta area earlier this week, six of whom were women of Asian descent. We grieve the loss of Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun and the four victims whose names have not yet been released.
These shootings happened on the same day that Stop AAPI Hate, a group formed last year in response to the dramatic rise in racism against the AAPI community during the COVID-19 pandemic, released a national report documenting the 3,795 incidents of racism and discrimination against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders reported to them between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021. Since very few incidents are reported, this is likely only a fraction of the incidents that actually occurred during this time.
The events of this week only exacerbate the fear and pain that our AAPI community is experiencing daily. As an institution committed to being boldly anti-racist, these acts go against everything we stand for. We urge everybody to stand with us in combating racism and hate in all its forms. Our campus cannot feel like home until everybody feels safe.
If you or someone you know has experienced or witnessed hate or bias incidents, we encourage you to make a report using our bias reporting system. This tool is a resource to report individual incidents of bias on or off campus and serves as a mechanism to help us address systemic issues of bias more broadly.
We encourage members of our community to seek support on campus and reach out to colleagues and peers. Students can access mental health support through Counseling Services or by using Albion Care, which offers free, 24/7 mental health telecare.
Today, and all days, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our AAPI community locally and nationally in denouncing racism, violence and discrimination.
Chief Belonging Officer
Dr. Mathew B. Johnson