As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed with great sadness and dismay a nationwide increase in the number of hate crimes committed against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. These incidents have incited feelings of fear, anger, hurt, and frustration, and they are rooted in a long history of racism and bias. We acknowledge this history and the impact it has on many members of our Volunteer family. Together we mourn the senseless violence and bigotry directed toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We stand in solidarity with them.
We want to reiterate the importance of working together to make the University of Tennessee a place that values diversity and where every person, regardless of their identity, can truly feel that they matter and belong. To this end, our campus leadership, in collaboration with Asian American and Pacific Islander students, staff, and faculty, is creating educational opportunities and programming to promote greater awareness around issues impacting this community. We will continue to share these opportunities with you as they come available.
This is a difficult time for many of our students, staff, and faculty. We grieve with you, we are frustrated with you, and we want to continue to create change with you. This will require all of us to take action against injustice and work together to create inclusive spaces where everyone can thrive.
Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement
Vice Provost for International Affairs
Director, Center for Global Engagement