Message from the Dean

Message from the Dean

Picture of the dean of students

The Bias Education and Support Team stands in solidarity with the Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American (APIDA) communities in denouncing the increasing violence targeting APIDA communities, businesses, and individuals. On Tuesday March 16th, a gunman murdered 8 people at three Asian-run massage spas in Atlanta. Six of the victims were Asian women. These murders add to the 3,795 reported incidents of anti-Asian hate since last March as reported by Stop APPI Hate. Each incident results in a community that is left to mourn and to distrust and fear the world in which they live and work.

The names of the deceased:

  • Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33
  • Paul Andre Michels, 54
  • Xiaojie Tan, 49
  • Daoyou Feng, 44
  • Soon Chung Park, 74
  • Hyun JungGrant, 51
  • Suncha Kim, 69
  • Yong Ae Yue, 63

The history of violence against Asian Women include:

  1. The lack of naming or prosecuting many of the violent and publicized attacks on Asians as hate crimes. This pattern of not pursuing or discussing anti-Asian attacks as racist or hate crimes has heightened the safety concerns of the APIDA community because it appears that anti-Asian violence is not being taken seriously.   
  2. The use of deeply harmful stereotypes about Asian women, especially East and Southeast Asian women. Asian women have long been fetishized, portrayed as exotic, submissive creatures. These stereotypes have contributed to the racism, oppression, and sexual violence that Asian women face.  

As members of BEST we call on the University of Arizona community to embody our core values of compassion, exploration, and inclusion. Be compassionate to those experiencing fear, grief, and anger over these recent anti-Asian attacks. Explore Asian American history to learn more about the long history of exclusion and anti-Asian sentiment in our collective history. Explore also the contributions the APIDA community have made to the arts, literature, and media to find ways to celebrate APIDA joy and accomplishment. Practice inclusion so that all members of our community feel safe and valued. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing bias or in need of support as a result of anti-Asian incidents, please reach out to University mental health providers, the BEST Team in the Dean of Students Office, The Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI), or Employee Assistance through Life Work Connections. Additionally, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion offers information and resources for witnesses and targets of anti-Asian hate.  

We write to you as members of the Bias Education and Support Team (BEST). The recent loss of a member of our campus community Forrest Keys, has left us shaken and saddened. Whether you knew this young man or not, the tragedy of a life taken so young has left its imprint. We struggle to find the words to give meaning to, and understand how this could happen in our community. Sometimes the words we speak can be hurtful and insensitive. As members of BEST, we implore you to show respect and temperance – for Forrest, and for his family, friends, fraternity brothers and our University of Arizona community. We ask that in this moment we lay down our assumptions, prejudices, stereotypes and bias and come together as a Wildcat community to mourn the loss of an exceptionally accomplished student known for his ability to make people laugh.

This is a time to offer support to Forrest’s friends and family; harmful comments have no place in our university community.

If you or someone you know are in need of assistance, please reach out to our University mental health providersDean of Students Office, or Employee Assistance through Life & Work Connections.