In Solidarity Against Anti-Asian Racism

A Message from Steve Patten, Interim Dean of Arts

Steve Patten - 26 March 2021

The hate-fueled shootings in Atlanta-area spas that killed eight people – including six women of Asian descent – have led to an outpouring of grief, outrage, and protest calling for an end to anti-Asian racism and misogyny. The Faculty of Arts stands in support of Asian and other racialized members of our community.

At a time when anti-racist activism and institutional efforts to advance equity, diversity, and inclusivity are front of mind, these horrific murders remind us just how prevalent anti-Asian racism is in our society. As a community, we must work in concert to root out systemic racism in all its forms while also recognizing that the violence and aggression targeting Asian peoples stems from the historical legacies of empire, imperialism, colonialism, and white supremacy that extend into the present. These legacies of oppression go hand-in-hand with other forms of racism as well as sexual violence and devaluation of women. Indeed, anti-Asian racism, scapegoating, and targeted violence against Asians have all been on the increase over the past year, and these are not problems to which our campus community is immune. While protests declare ‘racism a virus’ and challenge us to ‘Stop Asian Hate’, our campus community needs to reflect on how we can use our teaching, research, and institutional processes to work for change.

As an institution that has declared a commitment to equity and inclusivity, we must not ignore how widespread and systemic discrimination against Asians is in Canada, Alberta, Edmonton, and even on our campus. We must stand together against anti-Asian racism and in support of our Asian colleagues and students.

For those who wish to seek advice or support with regard to issues relating to discrimination or harassment, I want to draw your attention to the Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights. And I want all members of the Arts community to make themselves aware of the resources

offered in relation to UAlberta’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity initiatives and the information on the Faculty of Arts Equity, Diversity and Inclusion website. At the core of EDI initiatives are commitments to diversity and addressing systemic racism. We must recommit to this work.

Events like the Atlanta killings can impact us deeply. It is moments like this when we need to take care of one another.

Steve Patten
Interim Dean