Responding to Atlanta Shootings

Dear Members of the Department of Music Community,

I write today to express deep sadness and outrage at the recent rise in violence against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders across the country and specifically in Georgia earlier this week. In the wake of eight murders in Georgia – six of the victims of Asian descent – we join in mourning those lost and recommit ourselves to supporting and caring for one another by doing our part to foster a community grounded in principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging.

This past year has been challenging in so many ways. While a deadly virus swept across the entire world, many of the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander members of our community have been made to feel targeted and vulnerable by those who would wrongly blame them for the pandemic. We have a long road ahead of us to address deep-rooted, systemic racism and other injustices in our society, and we must all do our part to support members of our community who may feel higher levels of anxiety and fear about the increased violence, harassment, and discrimination that historically marginalized groups continue to suffer across the country.

As we reaffirm our commitment to fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment within the Music Department in which all members of our community feel a strong sense of belonging, we stand together – today and always – with our colleagues, fellow students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander descent.  

With best wishes,
Wendy Heller

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