Recent shootings in Atlanta have taken the lives of eight individuals, six of whom were women of Asian descent. While officials are investigating whether or not these acts will be formally prosecuted as hate crimes, these murders illuminate a year of escalating harassment and violence against the Asian American community. Claremont Graduate University strongly condemns anti-Asian discrimination, physical and racial violence.

Throughout the course of a global pandemic, amidst harmful rhetoric that has perpetuated fear, intolerance, and violent assault, Asians and Asian Americans have faced an alarming rise in hate crimes. Furthermore, gender-based violence, a pandemic in its own right affecting one in three women globally, has also intensified with COVID-19. The questionable assertion that these murders targeting Asian women were not racist, but instead due to a sex addiction, is an indication that intersectional violence can be hidden in plain sight.

We have a clear chance to revisit the promise we made just six months ago, when President Len Jessup made a charge for our university following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor:

“…we are an incredible, beautifully diverse community of graduate students and scholars, unique to higher education. We are inherently transdisciplinary, and we conduct research that matters, that solves real problems for people in the real world. Now more than ever, we have a lot to offer to those around us. We need the voices, the passion, and the unique talents of our diverse community members to create sustainable change in defeating systemic racism. We are listening to you and hearing your thoughts, concerns, and ideas for moving forward. We have a lot of work in front of us. A clear and profound opposition to racism must become ingrained in who we are. It is part of our responsibility as a global leader in transformative graduate education.”

Collectively, we have the opportunity to create sustainable change by standing in solidarity with the AAPI community, denouncing violence in all its forms and working to realize equity across the institution.

We remember:

Delaina Ashley Yaun
Xiaojie Tan
Daoyou Feng
Julie Park
Hyun-jeong Park Grant
Paul Andre Michels
and two unnamed victims

The DEI Committee @ CGU
 

Departmental Solidarity Statements