March 24, 2021
Unfortunately, we, the UNL Anti-Racism Journey Co-Leaders must once again respond to heinous incidents of violence and emphasize our unwavering commitment to racial justice. This is prompted by the recent reports on the murder of Asian women in Atlanta as well as general reports on the rise in anti-Asian attacks since the COVID-19 pandemic. Fears surrounding COVID-19 have resulted in harassment and misinformed opinions leveled against Asian Americans Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, students, and visitors. UNL’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion has issued a statement regarding this situation. These xenophobic actions detract from our ability to create an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion and can foster feelings of exclusion in the UNL community.
Anti-Asian sentiments, acts, and policies in the United States are not without precedent. AAPI struggles for Civil Rights date back to the 1800s. Furthermore, in addition to recent calls for racial justice and equity, AAPI communities have been among the minoritized groups whose social justice involvements culminated into the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. We recognize the country’s historical incidents of anti-Asian hate. Regarding recent events, an NPR report is quite informative.
Although early reports of the Atlanta shootings quote the shooter as saying no race was targeted, and although there has been hesitation to declare this a hate crime, its effect has been to terrorize individuals and groups of Asian descent. We will not be silent in the face of such brazen disrespect for, and great damage done to Asian Americans Pacific Islander communities.
We stand in empathetic solidarity with the AAPI communities, and we express deep sadness and regret for the terrible loss of life and for the grave repercussions that this violence is wreaking on the AAPI community among us.
We recommend to you a series being presented NET/PBS that chronicles “the contributions, and challenges of Asian-Americans, the fastest-growing ethnic group in America.” There are also further discussions on this issue in the UNL community. For example, OASIS is sponsoring a Dish-It-Up event on March 25th “to examine uptick in anti-Asian violence”.
UNL Journey Co-Leaders
Lory J. Dance
Sociology and Ethnic Studies
Chancellor’s Professor of English
Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner
Anna W. Shavers
Cline Williams Professor of Citizenship Law
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
College of Law
Kara Mitchell Viesca
Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education
Sergio C. Wals
Political Science and Ethnic Studies
Colette Yellow Robe
Member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Academic Retention Specialist for TRIO Programs