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Students, faculty and staff,

Today I am in mourning. I am grieving the eight lives lost to senseless gun violence last week in Atlanta, the city too busy to hate. I am also outraged, saddened, angered and, yes, scared by the escalation of hate speech and hate crimes in our country. Yet, I know that to be the inclusive leader and ally I aspire to be, I cannot turn away. Therefore, I write to communicate my support, condolences and commitment to stand with Asian Americans and everyone of Asian descent during this new season of hate. Although I am not you, I understand and deeply share your pain, your anger and your fear.

I write to encourage my new CAS community to join me in always embracing our differences, proactively dispelling and resisting hurtful stereotypes and misinformation while investing in learning more about our nation’s difficult history related to the experiences of Asians and Asian Americans by availing ourselves of the many resources on and off campus (please see examples below). Our opportunity to be a model of inclusive excellence is dependent upon each of us holding space for those in pain while we commit to celebrating the diversity of our community as an opportunity for our collective learning and effectiveness.

Kecia M. Thomas
College of Arts and Sciences

robert palazzo