I wrote to you just weeks ago regarding the rise of violence against Asians and Asian Americans, and the need to stand together in the face of hatred. It is with a heavy heart that I write today in the wake of targeted attacks in the Atlanta area. Eight people have lost their lives, including seven women, six of whom were identified as Asian.
While the motivations of the attacker are not yet fully known, we have seen a steady increase of acts of aggression and hateful rhetoric against members of the Asian community in the United States throughout this past year, rooted in false perceptions about the COVID-19 pandemic. It builds on a history in this country of xenophobia aimed at Asians and Asian Americans. I am also mindful that violence against women remains a serious issue, and that evidence shows that Asian women have been disproportionately targeted in reported bias incidents.
At Columbia, one of our greatest assets is our globally diverse community. Together we must uphold our shared values, particularly those of respect and the recognition of each of our fundamental worth. We will continue to denounce bias and bigotry in all forms and support each other, as a community.