Solidarity with our Asian CommunityA message from President Harring to the Muhlenberg community
Thursday, March 4, 2021 02:30 PM
To the Muhlenberg Community,
Anti-Asian rhetoric, discrimination, harassment and xenophobia has been a troubling issue that our society has yet to truly confront. The incomprehensible killing of Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 87-year-old Thai man who was attacked while out for a walk in San Francisco, should be a stark reminder of an ongoing problem. The rise in physical violence against Asian Americans is alarming and compounds the issues of inequity felt among Asian American communities during the pandemic.
Over the past year we have come together as a community to respond to the brazen surge of hate and violence toward communities of color. Our Asian students, faculty and staff are struggling with the insidious anti-Asian hate that continues to pervade society—both nearby and around the world. Muhlenberg condemns all forms of racism and stands in solidarity with our Asian American, Asian and Pacific Islander community members. We support them with steadfast resolve.
The Asian Student Association recently reached out to me to express their concern regarding these issues and I want to share their voice, thoughts and actions with you all:
“These recent horrendous attacks on the Asian American community pushes us, Asian Student Association, to stand up and speak out against the violence and the prejudice. We want to provide a safe space with attentiveness for the members of the Muhlenberg College community, especially individuals who identify as Asian or Asian American, respectively. We, as Asian Student Association, want to invite the College community to join together to discuss the recent hatred actions towards the Asian society.”
I encourage everyone to attend the virtual event organized by Asian Student Association, “Space to Speak” on Thursday, March 11 at 7 p.m. ASA—working with the Office of Multicultural Life—has organized this event to provide community members with time and space to gather, reflect and support one another. Please look for details to attend in the coming days.
Kathleen E. Harring