Standing with the Asian American Community Today and Every Day

CU Denver Response to March 16 Atlanta Shootings and Violent Hate Attacks on Asian Americans

March 19, 2021

Like so many of us in our campus community—and like Chancellor Marks, who immediately voiced her condemnation of the Atlanta area murders—I am deeply heartbroken and enraged by the continued rise in violent hate attacks against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The horrific recent murders in the Atlanta area have shattered countless lives and have once more exposed what is a centuries-old racism, misogyny, and xenophobia toward the AAPI community. Reading of a 9-year-old having to calm herself in the wake of her father’s shooting, as she watched him being rushed away in an ambulance, or our venerated elders physically assaulted over and over should be evidence enough to spur us to action to stop what is a deep multi-generational anguish and call for justice. Our intertwined and diverse society demands we act if we are to flourish as a democracy where justice is truly for all. 

I know that statements are not enough and also recognize silence perpetuates the invisibility of anti-Asian American/AAPI racism and misogyny. I am committed to doing my part to ensure CU Denver is proactive in supporting and advocating for change   

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to lean in beyond your grief and shock in order to support our grieving AAPI community. They are tired of being tired, endlessly vigilant against the next threat on their lives, their psychological well-being, and their ability to live in peace with dignity and respect. I cannot overstate the impact this rising wave of violence is having on our faculty, our staff, our students, and the broader AAPI community in greater Denver. Hate will end only when we stop being bystanders and stand with our AAPI brothers and sisters in rooting it out of our campus, our city, our nation.  

Students needing to check in can schedule an appointment on the Student and Community Counseling Center website or by calling its main phone line, 303-315-7270. Staff and faculty are encouraged to access the resources of the Employee Assistance Program

The Center for Asian American Student Services, in collaboration with faculty, staff, and students, will be holding a community town hall next week designed to allow our community to process our grief, deeply listen, and move to action. More details will be forthcoming on the Center for Identity and Inclusion website shortly. 

At CU Denver, we honor our community when we honor and live by our shared values, taking turns to carry each other when the burden overwhelms us, taking time to deeply listen with our hearts, and making the campus a model for deep learning by the steps we take every day to bring about a more just society predicated on dignity and respect.  

Antonio Farias
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
University of Colorado Denver