Since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic, incidents of violence against the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community have increased at an alarming rate. The pandemic has brought a great deal of uncertainty to our lives, along with potential for misinformation that can be harmful to our campus and communities. It is the shared responsibility of all of us to embrace and support individuals from a wide range of identities, perspectives, viewpoints and experiences with full understanding and sensitivity.
As a university community known for caring about each other, we all need to be understanding and compassionate. We should also be aware of and avoid broad generalizations and assumptions about China and people from Asian countries. Classifying Asian people as dangerous or sick, or making assumptions about a person’s nationality based on their physical appearance, reinforces long-standing histories of xenophobia and racism (whether intentional or not). Please treat all members of our community with respect and empathy as our university and the entire world deals with this challenging and evolving global pandemic. Hate, violence, and discrimination towards any group has no place on our campus, is never acceptable, and cannot be tolerated.
During this time of heightened anxiety and swift transition for our community, we must also reject online behavior that vilifies, demeans, or disrespects others. COVID-19 is not specific to any ethnicity, race, or community. It is important that all members of our community feel included and supported. Students, faculty, and staff who experience bias related to race, national origin, or other protected identity are encouraged to complete a Campus Climate Support Form.
The Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement (CICCE) and Office of Global Engagement (OGE) staffs are available to discuss concerns. To learn more about combating discrimination or violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, visit STOPAAPIhate.org.
We ask that all members of the UM community be especially vigilant in supporting one another – whether on campus or remote, sick or well, majority or underrepresented – and that they condemn any discriminatory acts or hate speech targeting any identity group or community.
Additional resources are outlined below: