March 19, 2021
Dear Campus Community,
Our flags on campus are at half-mast today in mourning for eight people brutally murdered in Atlanta earlier this week. Evergreen stands united with everyone grieving the loss of eight lives, of which six were Asian women.
We must confront racially motivated violence and call it by its name. The threadbare excuses of economic anxiety or sexual addiction are intolerable. This is violence that de-humanizes, terrorizes and traumatizes. We cannot accept this assault or other acts of violence and hate directed at Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, women, or any group of people. It is profoundly wrong.
This is a time to recommit our college and ourselves to building a community, nation, and society that repudiates hate and bigotry, and works to honor, care for and cherish each individual. We must reflect on our nation’s history of racialized and gendered violence and consider how we can bring about positive change.
Evergreen’s First Peoples Multicultural, Trans and Queer Support Services will offer a community conversation on unlearning racism on Tuesday, March 23, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, with Hannah Simonetti. (Zoom link for the community conversation.)
First Peoples' Instagram offers tips to productively engage in conversations and actions about anti-Asian violence, and you can read the latest Stop AAPI National Report (PDF).
Consider engagement with, among others, the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander American Federation and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Thanks to First Peoples Associate Director Jacob Longaker for reminding us of these resources.
Please take a moment to read Evergreen-Tacoma Dean Marcia Tate Arunga’s “Statement of Compassion” sent via email to staff and faculty on March 18.
This is just a beginning. As we grieve for these lives lost, we must be part of a positive wave of action and change, which our humanity demands.
George S. Bridges
The Evergreen State College