March 18, 2021
Dear GSAPP Community,
I am writing to share my profound sadness and outrage following Tuesday’s deadly attacks in Atlanta in which eight people lost their lives, six of whom were of Asian descent. Verbal abuse, harassment, and physical violence against the Asian community has increased throughout the past year, a rise in hate crimes which is especially painful for our GSAPP community, where the diversity of cultural, racial, and national backgrounds represented among our students is one of our defining characteristics and a source of collective identity and strength.
We denounce these violent acts as well as countless related aggressions rooted in intolerance and hatred. I want to echo yesterday’s student message from Joseph Defraine Greenwell, Vice President for Student Affairs in the Office of University Life, to remind you that it is very normal to experience anger or anxiety following these tragic events. The University offers many resources, including counseling and psychological services through Columbia Health on Morningside, Student Health on Haven at CUIMC, and additional support through Religious Life. If you, or someone you know, has experienced bias, you can also report it to the University or contact Dean of Students Danielle Smoller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the School and myself, I am deeply sympathetic to all who have been impacted by this news and offer my strongest support and understanding.