On Tuesday, March 16, eight people were killed in shootings at three Atlanta, Georgia spas. Seven of the eight victims targeted were women of Asian descent. On Monday, March 29, an open forum took place on Zoom with Kean University to discuss the issue and the need for reform.
The violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander people (AAPI) has had a rampant increase since the ongoing impact effects of Covid-19. These terrorist attacks against the AAPI community have caused fear, injury and premature deaths. Recent events catalyze a collective action against Asian hate and racism in America.
It is the responsibility of society to become informed thereby recognizing the social and systemic violence with the drive to foster a safe haven where people of different races, ethnicities and intersectionality can commune. As a campus, Kean must commit to irrefutable, tangible and swift action to bring forth a diverse, equitable and inclusive structure with a climate set to university standards.
Kean University President, Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. sent out a mass email stating, “Sadly, I once again find myself repeating that hate, in any form, has no place in our communities, and we must stand together to condemn it and prevent its violent consequences. We also must make time to celebrate our diversity and the richness and beauty of the many cultures we embrace here at Kean and in our daily lives.”
There were moments during the discussion forum that became emotional as different students and instructors shared personal experiences of how this current crisis has affected them and haunting recollections of dealing with the aftermath of how to move forward. The conversation made the individuals participating how to rethink current statuses within the community thus spewing anger, annoyance and the need to analyze why this has become widespread destruction of the moral fiber of equality.
To learn more about how to stop Asian hate crimes, it is important to read about the current crisis of anti-Asian hate and violence. This should be followed by raising awareness by sharing information with the media. Of extreme necessity is to commit to anti-racist action by volunteering at, donating to and advocating for individuals who endure discrimination. Educate, embrace and empower how to eliminate the stereotypes of ethnocentricity to envision a society of equality. Try not to hate, discriminate, alleviate, annihilate, obliterate, deviate, mediate, to liberate. Make that change.
The event was hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Kean Athletics, Counseling, Accessibility, and Alcohol and Other Drug Services, Asian Studies, Human Rights Institute, Chinese Students and Scholars Association of Kean University, and the Department of History. Please visit Cougar Link for more information on any of the departments and future Kean event forums.