President’s Office

President’s speeches, letters, and articles

Subject: Speaking out against racist attacks on Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders

February 12, 2021

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

I want to express my thoughts and concerns for the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. I care about you, and hope you feel safe wherever you are. In April of last year, I wrote to all of you about a rise in anti-Asian bias incidents and increasing accounts of attacks on Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Over the past few weeks there have been reports in the media of a new surge of violent attacks against the AAPI community, including here in Portland. The Oregonian reported on Wednesday that Asian-owned businesses have been hit by more than a dozen acts of vandalism in Portland’s Jade District, and there are many more reports across our nation. We also know that attacks against the AAPI community are underreported. These racist and vile acts are especially heart-wrenching and concerning to learn about on this day, the Lunar New Year, a time marked for celebration.

The vice presidents, deans, and I write to you collectively to speak out against these racist acts and the stigmatization that has led to discrimination against the AAPI community. Although there has been a significant increase in violence directed toward the AAPI community during the pandemic, attacks against the AAPI community are not new.

It is important for all of us in the Reed community to stand united against racism and to take ongoing actions to reaffirm our commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and equity. It is also important to know there are resources for support. The Office for Institutional Diversity (OID) is available to meet with Reed community members and has also put together a list of on- and off-campus resources.

We emphasize the importance of coming together as a community, sharing experiences, learning about different cultures, and supporting each other. In that spirit, tonight provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and perhaps learn more about the Lunar New Year by joining the Chinese eHouse, MRC, ISS, and the Chinese department as they host a virtual Lunar New Year Celebration (Reed credentials required) at 7 p.m. I’m looking forward to attending and hope you will consider joining the celebration.


Audrey and the Vice Presidents and Deans of Reed


Audrey Bilger

Vice Presidents and Deans

Lorraine Arvin
Vice President & Treasurer

Mary James
Dean for Institutional Diversity & A.A. Knowlton Professor of Physics

Karnell McConnell-Black
Vice President for Student Life

Kathy Oleson
Dean of the Faculty & Professor of Psychology

Hugh Porter
Vice President for College Relations & Planning

Milyon Trulove 
Vice President & Dean of Admission and Financial Aid