Statement Rejecting Anti-Asian Hate
Our community and our nation are seeing a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes and harassment, fueled in part by misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19. As recently as February 25, a Japanese American school teacher was deliberately attacked in the International District. In January, two incidents of anti-Asian hate speech, threats, and assault occurred, one downtown and another in West Seattle. Stop AAPI Hate, a national organization that has been tracking anti-Asian hate crimes since the start of the pandemic, said that these attacks have targeted mostly the elderly and women.
Seattle Colleges stand in solidarity with our Asian American community.
In June 2020, the Seattle Colleges Board of Trustees passed a resolution that “denounces racialized inequality in America’s healthcare system; condemns all forms of racism against Asians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Latino Americans, African Americans and indigenous Americans and other communities of color; joins communities, cities, counties, and states across the country in condemning acts of aggression and hate crimes targeting communities of color...”
Today, as presidents of North Seattle College, Seattle Central College, and South Seattle College, we again echo this denouncement of hate crimes, specifically as they have targeted the Asian American community in recent weeks. We know that statements and denouncements alone do not eradicate this hate from existence; we know that it takes dedicated and persistent action to change our community for the better.
In the Seattle Colleges, 17% of our own student community identify as Asian American, and this diverse group—which represents dozens of ethnicities, backgrounds and national origins within it—is our district’s largest community of color. Our students and our community of colleagues are no doubt impacted by this rise in racially-motivated violence. Please find time to check in with and support one another. Refer students to counseling resources and remind your fellow colleagues of available EAP resources.
As colleges and as a district, we have a responsibility to use education as our primary tool to fight racism. As we acknowledge this growing trend, alongside the violence and racism experienced by the Black community, and all communities of color, we are further resolved to be an active part of change and achieving racial equity.
As college presidents, we reject hate and pledge to stand beside our students, our colleagues, and our region’s Asian American communities.
Interim President, North Seattle College
Sheila Edwards Lange
President, Seattle Central College
President, South Seattle College
March 5, 2021