The mass shooting on Tuesday, March 16 in Atlanta, in which six of the eight people killed were Asian and Asian American women, serves as a horrific reminder of the xenophobia and misogyny rooted in our society and yet another call on all of us to strengthen our commitment to social justice work. Advocacy organizations such as Stop AAPI Hate have reported at least 2,880 incidents of violent attacks in 2020, with rising numbers in 2021. These are indeed unsettling times in our country during which Asians and Asian Americans are suffering as these hate-driven incidents become more common. The urgent work of ending racially motivated violence is a long, ongoing journey that we will walk together.
Oberlin continues to unite as a community against injustice and bigotry. We have a distinctive history of Asian American student activism, mobilization, and programming dating at least to the 1970s, which yielded an ethnic studies curriculum and interrogated Oberlin’s own history of cultural imperialism in Asia. But clearly much work remains to be done.
Our faculty includes respected scholars of the Asian American experience: Shelley Lee, Rick Baldoz, and Harrod Suarez. Professor Lee’s book, A New History of Asian America has become a go-to text in Asian American studies courses around the country. Lee teaches that anti-Asian racism runs deep in American history, and has been especially weaponized during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We stand in solidarity with Asian and Asian American students, staff, faculty, and all other community members who have been impacted by these events. For those who may have missed them, please read the two statements the college shared prior to the Atlanta shooting: the first on March 7, from the Presidential Initiative, and the second from the Comparative American Studies Department, East Asian Studies Department, International Student Resource Center, and Multicultural Resource Center on March 12 that includes resources for wellness and emotional support.
Please reach out if you need support and share the following campus resources with each other:
Oberlin College Safety and Security On Call System: 440-774-8444
- 24-hour response service to address urgent issues of campus safety and connect members of the community to the after-hours support system.
The Counseling Center: 440-775-8470
- Confidential counseling services for Oberlin students. After-hours telephone counseling support is available by calling the number above and selecting option 2.
The Multicultural Resource Center: 440-775-8802
- A gathering place for the collaborative support of historically disenfranchised communities which works on issues of diversity and inclusion within a social justice context.
The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life: 440-775-8103
- A multifaith resource center that supports religious practice, education, service, and activism, and provides spiritual support and counseling.
Student Help and Resource Exchange: 440-775-8462
- Trained staff advisors available to talk through issues, brainstorm options, and connect to solutions.
International Student Support: 440-775-8462
- Specialized immigration assistance, advising, and support for international students.
The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: 440-775-8555
- Support regarding reports of discrimination and harassment, including sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence.
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