Dear members of the UT Austin community,
It is with deep regret and sadness that we reach out to you about last week’s violence in Atlanta. While the police investigation into the motive for these murders continues, the deaths of these eight victims — six of whom were Asian and seven of whom were women—standout for the backdrop against which they occurred.
For a year, Asian Americans have been violently scapegoated for the devastating pandemic at all levels of U.S. society. Although, historically speaking, this is not the first time the AAPI community has experienced the vitriol of scapegoating and institutional racism. History tells a grim tale of such examples that date back to the mid-nineteenth century.
On the same day of the Atlanta murders, Stop AAPI Hate announced that it has received nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans in the past year. Women reported over twice as many incidents as men. These events deeply affect our colleagues, students, alumni, friends, and families within the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities.
We stand against white supremacy and misogyny. We reaffirm our unequivocal, steadfast support for the many AAPI individuals and women in the UT Austin student body, staff and faculty; you are essential members of our community. We want all members of the UT Austin community to know that they are welcome here, that they are supported and that they belong here. We underscore the importance of allyship in times like these, and encourage you to reach out to and support one another. We all pledge to work together to eradicate hatred and violence.
Should you or anyone you know need added support, please reach out to use University support resources. Students can reach out to the Counseling and Mental Health Center or use the center’s Thrive at UT App at any time. Faculty and staff members can access the many resources identified by the Employee Assistance Program. You can also reach out to your diversity officer in your school. Finally, please consider attending “Confronting Anti-Asian Racism: A Bystander Intervention Workshop” organized by UT faculty and staff.
In solidarity and support,
Edmund T Gordon, Vice Provost of Diversity, University of Texas at Austin
Christine Julien, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Cockrell School of Engineering
Rich Reddick, Associate Dean for Equity, Community Engagement, and Outreach, College of Education
John Yancey, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, College of Fine Arts
Monique Pikus, Director of Diversity and Organizational Climate, College of Liberal Arts
Shelley Payne, Advisor for Diversity and Inclusion, College of Natural Sciences
Skyller Walkes, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, College of Pharmacy
Rene Salazar, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Dell Medical School
Sam Moore, Director of Outreach and Diversity Programs, Jackson School of Geosciences
Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Director of Civic Engagement, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Raji Srinivasan, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, McCombs School of Business
Ya’Ke Smith, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Moody College of Communication
Shavonne Henderson, Director of Student Equity and Inclusion, School of Law
Esther Calzada, Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion, Steve Hicks School of Social Work
Phaedra Abbott, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, School of Undergraduate Studies