Supporting our community, confronting hate and violence
March 21, 2021
Dear Brandeis Community,
Brandeis' values and history of seeking justice and rooting out the fundamental causes of discrimination, hatred, and violence have never been more necessary than they are today. As we witnessed the reprehensible murders last week in Atlanta, we are reminded that we must keep in the foreground the fact that a multitude of racial and ethnic identities have been marginalized in different ways in our society. As I wrote on March 2, and as we stated again last week, we must speak and act to condemn the bias and hate crimes that have occurred against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
Our own community is not immune to being targeted for harassment by those who deal in hate. Within the past 48 hours, a member of the Brandeis community who provided expert commentary on the bias issues (both race and gender) tied to the recent Atlanta murders has received vile and threatening correspondence.
First and foremost, Brandeis stands ready to support and protect all members of our community, including those who share their expertise, speak up for what is right, and advocate for change. The Department of Public Safety is aware of this incident and is committed to providing protection to the extent possible. In addition, Public Safety has been tracking the rise of incidents of hate crimes against the AAPI communities in the U.S. more broadly and is in contact with external agencies to provide any advanced warnings of further threats.
I encourage you to refer back to the earlier communication for resources Brandeis offers to support the mental health of our community.
I want to close by acknowledging that our community has collectively faced an exhausting and extremely challenging year. The public health and economic challenges caused by COVID-19, combined with a long-overdue national reckoning around racism, have left us fatigued and shaken. But we will not look away from these most recent atrocities and their impact on AAPI members of our community. We will instead strengthen our resolve to help "repair the world" — together.