April 3, 2020
Dear Reed community:
We may not be able to gather on the Reed campus, but we share values, interests, and hopes that characterize us as a community, including a deep commitment to maintaining an environment where all members of our community can flourish. While in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen daily accounts of heroism and resilience, and we have also seen a rise in anti-Asian bias incidents and increasing accounts of attacks on Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
Throughout history, groups of people have been singled out, demonized, and blamed for epidemics, as evidenced during the bubonic plague, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and the AIDS pandemic. In this latest pandemic, we have learned about efforts to stigmatize people who appear to some to have come from China as being particularly prone to having or spreading COVID-19. Stop AAPI Hate, an open forum to report discrimination against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, is receiving nearly 100 reports daily of vehement verbal harassment and physical abuse.
It is important that the Reed community speak out against the stigmatization that has led to discrimination against and violence toward Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Join me in this effort; our commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and anti-racism and to the honor principle can be amplified to help us keep one another safe and secure.
The Office for Institutional Diversity (OID) at Reed also invites all community members to join an online gathering to show support for our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community members next Wednesday, April 8, at 5 p.m. PDT. More information and a ZOOM link will be provided next week.
OID has put together this list of on- and off-campus resources for those who are experiencing instances of racism and xenophobic animosity.
My thoughts are with all of you during these difficult times.
In solidarity and with hope,