A response to the recent shootings in Georgia from Oxy leadership.
Dear Occidental Community,
Last week, we experienced yet another horrific act of hate perpetrated on innocent people. The recent shootings in Georgia that resulted in the death of eight people, six of whom were Asian women, are a grim reminder of the heightened persistence of racism, xenophobia and misogyny. This tragedy occurs at a time of increasing reports of anti-Asian violence across the country, violence that recalls historical forms of anti-Asian exclusion and stereotyping but also reflects growing forms of prejudice tied to the global pandemic. Our empathy and support go out to everyone affected in the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, so many of whom fear every day for themselves and their loved ones.
Occidental’s mission as an educational institution plays a critical role in standing up to violence, injustice, and hate. Acting against the racist narratives and unjust systems impacting Asian, AAPI and all other minority communities is a responsibility for us all. If we are to create a true culture of care, we must support and protect each other; that means doing the work of making the structural, social, and personal changes necessary to ensure equity and justice both on and beyond campus. Professor Martha Matsuoka sent out a document, curated by students at Oxy and other schools, detailing what actions we might take to stand with AAPI communities. You can access it here as well.
The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., stated it unequivocally: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Occidental College stands in support of our Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander students, faculty, staff and alumni and will continue to work with the AAPI community and others to combat hate, make visible the struggles for recognition, and build solidarity across difference for our common good.
Harry J. Elam, Jr.
Dean of Students
Dean of the College