March 18, 2021
Dear School of Art Community,
I write in the wake of Tuesday’s violence in Atlanta that claimed the lives of eight people. This horrific crime comes during a surge of anti-Asian hate-crimes since we entered into this challenging time of the COVID pandemic a year ago. To School of Art students, faculty, and staff of Asian heritage, I acknowledge the fear and hurt that accompanies this unprecedented increase in unsubstantiated claims and racially motivated hate crimes. As Dean, alongside with the School of Art’s leadership, I stand in solidarity with you and with anyone who has suffered a crime or transgression motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic or national origin–be it written, verbal or physical in nature.
We, as a community of artists and educators, condemn this ongoing violence and harassment. At Yale and at the School of Art, we uphold the values that each individual be treated with dignity and respect. I encourage each member of our community to learn, reflect, and respond. Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Michael W. Kraus, recently co-authored “Anti-Asian Racism Exposes the Model Minority Myth,” with Yale PhD Candidate, Eunice Eun, which may offer a helpful place to gain perspective.
For members of our community who are affected and need assistance, the Office of Institutional Equity and Access offers a means through which any Yale student or employee can confidentially raise concerns or talk about a problem. Students can also contact Dean’s Designee Taryn Wolf with concerns about discrimination and harassment. Additionally, students are invited to reach out to non-clinical counselor Krista Dobson, who is available to support students with short term mental health and wellness needs including social and cultural belonging and self-care. I encourage any student seeking help to make an appointment with Krista directly through this link, or reach out to her via email.
Additional resources and spaces for community and connectedness include:
The Asian Network at Yale, which connects, inspires and empowers Yale’s community of Asian Heritage professionals; all those with an interest in learning more about Asian culture are invited to attend ANY events;
The Asian American Cultural Center, which builds a dynamic Asian and Asian American presence at Yale, supporting student identity exploration and empowerment.
It is immensely disheartening the number of messages I have written during my term as Dean addressing continued attacks against minority communities within a multicultural democracy at odds with its white supremacist foundation. We must remain vigilant of the ways in which anti-Asian prejudice and bias affects all members of the School of Art community, and continue the work of finding effective and actionable ways to address this and all forms of prejudice, stigmatization, xenophobia, and racism.
In solidarity once more,
Last edited by: Sarah Stevens-Morling
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