Hate Has No Home Here

Dear Kent State University Community, 

It was our honor last week to attend the university’s Asian American Experience Town Hall and hear our leading professors discuss how they and their families experience the world – professionally and personally – on campus, in Northeast Ohio and beyond. 

Sadly, the tensions and acts of violence against Asians and Asian Americans discussed in the town hall continue, including this week’s horrific shootings in Atlanta that left eight dead.

The repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic have been tragic and shocking and have affected everyone in our Kent State community. Asian and Asian American members of our community have experienced an increase in hate, racism and xenophobia over the past year due to the association of the COVID-19 pandemic with people of Asian descent. 

We strongly condemn the recent killings in Atlanta and all racial atrocities Asians and Asian Americans face. We know the recent increase in anti-Asian bigotry is tied to older forms of systemic racism. We stand in solidarity with Asian and Asian American members of our community who have and continue to be affected by this hate and violence. These appalling acts are abhorrent examples of how racism remains a chronic social ill that we must work to eradicate.

As Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms put it, “A crime against any community is a crime against us all.” These racist attacks must stop, and they must stop now.

At Kent State, we strive to be a community that is safe and welcoming. The racism and discrimination our community members are facing run contrary to our core values of kindness and respect. We must strengthen our resolve, as a community, to live up to these core values. We urge you to provide support to those in our community who are feeling the dreadful effects of these events.

If you were not able to attend last week’s Asian American Experience Town Hall, we encourage you to view it online

Asian and Asian American faculty members at Kent State recently have formed a new faculty group to help support their sense of belonging and give them a collective presence at Kent State. This group will raise the profile of our large, diverse and valuable Asian and Asian American community here at Kent State, increase their appreciation on campus and give them the power and support of a united front. For more information about the group, please contact Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D., interim vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, at agooden@kent.edu.

Numerous other resources at Kent State also can provide support, including the Counseling Center, the Psychological Clinic, Counseling and Psychological Services and Kent State Police Services. Visit our Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s website for additional resources for combating racism and learning to serve as an ally to others.

As we continue to fight the malicious impact of racism and COVID-19, please remember to take care of one another and yourself during this time. 

Sincerely,

Todd Diacon
President 

Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Melody Tankersley, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and Provost

POSTED: Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 4:09pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 1, 2021 - 1:51pm
WRITTEN BY:
Todd Diacon, Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D., Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D. and Melody Tankersley, Ph.D.