Dear colleagues, friends, and family of Indiana University,
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the world has seen a significant rise in anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) rhetoric and hate-driven, racist attacks on the AAPI community. According to data collected by the NYPD, hate crimes against Asian Americans have risen 1900% compared to 2019, accounting for more than 15% of all reported hate crime incidents last year. The Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center tracked more than 1,900 incidents of anti-Asian racism between March and June 2020 alone, a number that is only increasing.
The IU Foundation firmly denounces all forms of racist attacks and rhetoric, including these specific and targeted assaults on the AAPI community. We will never stand for such demonstrations of intolerance and xenophobia, and continually work to ensure our environment is one of welcoming, empathy, understanding, and inclusivity. As mentioned in IUF’s statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we’re “committed to ensuring that people from groups that experience discrimination and underrepresentation are included and valued.”
The AAPI community has long played an integral role at Indiana University, not only in Bloomington, but throughout the University’s entire campus network. Through the efforts of countless Asian students, the Asian Culture Center was established in 1998, the first of its kind in the Midwest. The physical gathering space and allocation of university resources for Asian students were pivotal steps towards institutionalized commitment to campus diversity. At IUPUI,numerous safe spaces allow for an exploration and a deeper understanding of Asian identity, open for all students to socialize and heighten awareness of a diverse array of Asian cultures.
The power of our Asian community at each of our campuses and IUF locations can be felt every day. Our action, support, and allyship are needed now more than ever. Thank you for speaking up and taking action.
J T. Forbes
Interim President & CEO, IU Foundation