Thursday, Mar 18, 2021
Dear Rider University community,
For the past year, our country has seen a disturbing rise in xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), including harassment, damaging rhetoric and vicious attacks on individuals in cities and towns across America. Two days ago, we were horrified to learn that eight people had been shot and killed in the Atlanta area, six of whom were Asian American women. These violent murders are painful tragedies first and foremost for the families of the victims, but also for the entire AAPI community who have faced mounting racial discrimination since the onset of the pandemic.
According to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition documenting and addressing anti-Asian discrimination during the pandemic, nearly 3,800 incidents involving anti-Asian hate were reported since March 2020. Other statistics indicate hate crimes against Asian Americans in the U.S. rose by 150% in 2020. Numbers like these can help to quantify this stark reality, but we must remember what these numbers really reflect is people — families, neighbors, colleagues, friends and individuals just like you and me who have become targets of hate.
At Rider University we condemn all acts of bias and hate, and pride ourselves as a diverse and inclusive community. As declared in Rider University’s Statement of Community Values, we celebrate our differences for they are our strength.
We want to remind you that Rider’s Counseling Services, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and Department of Public Safety are all available resources if you have or are experiencing fear, hurt or trauma and would like to speak with someone, or if at any time you do not feel safe at Rider University. We also encourage you to learn more about Rider’s Bias Incident Response Protocol on our website, including how to report a campus incident using an online form.
The Center for Diversity and Inclusion offers Open Door Conversations each Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. You can register in advance utilizing your Rider email address to participate via Zoom. The timeliness of this week’s conversation allows an opportunity for conversation about these recent tragic deaths and trends of hatred displayed to members of the AAPI community.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated nationally in May, and typically celebrated on Rider’s campus in April. We encourage you to engage in community-building and educational events that will be shared shortly.
For more information about Stop AAPI Hate, go to http://stopaapihate.org.
On behalf of the entire Rider community, we extend our condolences to the victims of the Atlanta shootings, and affirm our support of all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, especially those in our extended Rider family.
President Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.