Writing to the University community on behalf of the President’s Cabinet, U of R Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer Christopher Jones and President Ralph W. Kuncl reiterate the University’s commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the wake of the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16.
We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life of eight people shot by a gunman in Atlanta earlier this week. The death toll and frequency of mass shootings continue to dismay and mortify us, and we condemn this violence without reservation. This horrific event was not meaningless random violence, but targeted gun violence, which follows a national rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders over the past several years, and we write today because we have been hearing from members of our own community who feel targeted and unsafe in the current environment.
We would like to reiterate our commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion on all our campuses. We need to join together in our responsibility to ensure every member of our community feels safe, welcome, and respected, regardless of their race, gender, nationality, religious or political beliefs, sexuality, or any other identity. In coming together, we can make a difference.
In the face of this latest tragedy, we would like to remind members of our community of resources available to them to report instances of bias or discrimination or to acquire additional support:
- To report a bias incident to the University, visit the Office of Equity and Title IX web pages.
- For employees needing mental health support, Employee Assistance Program is available 24/7 as a free benefit by calling 866-799-2728 or visiting the website.
- The Student Counseling Center, which provides free and confidential mental health services, including individual therapy, crisis intervention, and group therapy, can be reached at 909-748-8108.
- Campus Diversity and Inclusion acts as a catalyst to the campus community on matters related to diversity, multicultural programming, and cultural pluralism.
We would also like to raise awareness of the “Stop AAPI Hate” reporting center, which was launched by the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State. The center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Anti-Asian incidents can be reported at Stop AAPI Hate’s website.
To the families of the deceased and to all of those affected by this heinous act of violence, we send our heartfelt condolences. On behalf of our community, we reiterate our commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the right of all of us to be safe in our daily lives.
Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at the U of R.