March 18, 2021
Dear Students and Colleagues,
Today marks the beginning of U.S. Congressional hearings on the rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans in the United States. The hearings began with a moment of silence and in opening remarks Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen referenced the nearly 3,800 reported incidents of anti-Asian hate over the past year.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen anti-Asian violence increase dramatically across the United States. The fact that world leaders and lawmakers repeatedly refer to COVID-19 as the "China virus" or the "Chinese virus" has, in some people's minds, wrongfully linked Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders with the pandemic.
At IUPUI, IUPUC, and IU Fort Wayne, we remain unwavering in our commitment to ensuring a safe and civil environment for faculty, staff, and students with zero tolerance for bias, including incidents arising as a result of the pandemic. We must remain vigilant in protecting the core values that make our campus an inclusive academic community that welcomes Asian Americans and, indeed, all Americans as well as people from around the world, including our more than 1,000 international students and scholars from more than 20 Asian nations.
Now more than ever, we need to come together to speak out and take action in support of those who experience violence and injustice. We must stand shoulder to shoulder as allies, colleagues, and friends with hope and courage as we build a better future and a more tolerant and just nation.
Take care and stay well,
Nasser H. Paydar