I wanted to take this opportunity to communicate the heartbreak and outrage that I, and others in our graduate community, felt after witnessing the attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Bay Area and across the U.S. These forms of verbal and physical violence are a violation of our safety, our community, our sense of home, and our fundamental values.
The assault of a 91-year-old man in Oakland, the racial slurs hurled at author Kelly Yang while out with her family at a Richmond dog park, and the death of Angelo Quinto at the hands of Antioch police, are only recent examples of anti-Asian persecution and violence that date back to the exclusionary immigration policies and the exploitation of Asian laborers in the mid-1800s.
I stand with UC Berkeley’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community in committing to expanding the role that higher education and the Graduate Division can play in dismantling these manifestations of hate and bigotry. The Graduate Division has made significant progress in addressing the recommendations set forth by the Graduate Diversity Task Force, as well as launching a series of campuswide Graduate Diversity Initiatives and meeting with graduate student members of the AAPI Standing Committee. I look forward to updating you about our progress in May. But we still have work to do — collective work — in creating a safer and more equitable campus climate.
If you would like to contribute your thoughts and suggestions for how the Graduate Division can better serve the AAPI community at Cal, please email email@example.com.
Chancellor Christ’s February CalMessage details campus contacts for resources at UC Berkeley. Please reach out for support.