A Message from Wake Forest Leaders

Dear Wake Forest community,

In the past year, violence and hate toward the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community has been rising at an alarming rate. Following the attacks in Atlanta last week, Dean Walton and Chaplain Auman shared a message of solidarity, vowing the support of the Wake Forest community. Other members of our community, including Wake Forest Kahle Professor of Religious Studies Mary Foskett, have written powerfully about their lived experiences.

We believe that every member of our community has infinite dignity, and we join those mobilizing in support of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community. We condemn the action that has brought about fear, pain and anger, and we grieve for those who have felt intolerance, endured hatred and suffered loss.

Today, in response to the violence and hate directed toward the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community, Asian American lawmakers and leaders are uniting people across our nation to observe #StopAsianHate, a virtual day of action and healing. The Wake Forest community is invited to participate in this national event through a virtual vigil being held at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Additionally, next Wednesday is the start of Asian Heritage Month at Wake Forest. The Intercultural Center will promote and amplify the dedicated work of Wake Forest’s Asian student leaders and organizations. New specialized programs and events will honor the diversity that represents our Asian-identifying students, colleagues and neighbors. The planning for these events started months ago in collaboration with student leaders from the Asian Student Interest Association, South Asian Student Association and Intercultural Ambassadors, with a specific focus on how to mitigate the effects of anti-Asian xenophobia, racism and discrimination. A calendar of events will be available at interculturalcenter.wfu.edu starting April 1, 2021.

Wake Forest offers several avenues of support for students, faculty and staff within the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community who are feeling vulnerable because of the recent and ongoing targeted violence and xenophobia. Our Campus Life and Office of Diversity and Inclusion colleagues stand ready to offer support. If you have experienced or witnessed anti-Asian hate and discrimination, please consider filing a report using the bias reporting system.

In these troubling times, we encourage you to reach out to your classmates, friends, neighbors and colleagues of Asian descent. Let them know that this community — one that is for humanity — stands in solidarity with them.

Sincerely,

Nathan O. Hatch, President

Rogan Kersh, Provost

Penny Rue, Vice President of Campus Life

Andy Chan, Vice President of Innovation and Career Development

José Villaba, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

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