As a community, we mourn the deaths and offer our prayers to the families and communities directly affected by the shooting deaths of eight people, six of whom were Asian Americans, earlier this week in Atlanta. This horrific act of violence – along with the shameful physical and verbal abuse and harassment many Asian Americans have experienced since the start of the pandemic – is unconscionable and must be condemned and confronted in all its nefarious forms.
We shall never accept as normal the sudden, unexpected and tragic loss of human life – people who were loved ones, parents, siblings, children and best friends to others. We ask our UMass Memorial and UMass Medical School communities to join us and stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) colleagues to condemn this offensive and intolerable behavior. We call this behavior what it is – hate-filled racism.
While the violent attacks and vile remarks haven’t received the attention they deserve, we acknowledge this past year has been a difficult, often painful time for AAPI communities and has left many feeling uncared for and undervalued.
Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition that tracks incidents of violence and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., reports an astonishing 3,800 incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans this past year. This is unacceptable.
We are committed to ensuring that our AAPI brothers and sisters feel safe and welcome on our medical campus and in our surrounding communities. Please know that we hear you, we see you, we support you, we value you and we stand with you against this abhorrent behavior.
Eric Dickson, MD, President and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care
Michael F. Collins, MD, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Chancellor, UMass Medical School
Marlina Duncan, EdD, Vice Chancellor, Diversity and Inclusion, UMass Medical School and Brian Gibbs, PhD, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, UMass Memorial Health Care