Message from President Krise on the recent violence against Asian and Pacific Islander Americans
As a university with one of the highest percentages of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans in the country, the University of Guam community feels the pain of the hate-inspired killings on March 16 in Atlanta. This incident highlights the rise in violence targeting Asian and Pacific Islander Americans across the country. On behalf of all Tritons, I condemn the violence and the hatred that motivated these attacks and call on all of us to do all we can to protect the vulnerable and targeted and to eradicate racism, sexism, and all forms of prejudice.
As a nation, we have had plenty of evidence in recent years of the work we all need to do to achieve our goals of equal dignity and equal justice for all people. At UOG, the series of Courageous and Critical Conversations we held in the weeks following the murder of George Floyd last year focused first on discrimination and violence against African Americans, but then shifted to similar experiences among our Asian American and Pacific Islander American communities— and not just treatment of AAPI people in the white-majority mainland U.S., but also here at home.
In brave testimonials, members of our community talked about their personal experiences with being the targets of unjust discrimination and, occasionally, as the perpetrators of discrimination. We explored how our families and cultures can create and reinforce stereotypes that can lead us unconsciously to think less of other people because of hate-inspired prejudice. Being aware of the possibility of unconscious bias is the first step toward becoming a less prejudiced person. In light of these recent attacks, we’ll resume the Critical Conversations series to explore more ways we can address hatred and violence in our society.
As a learning community, UOG is committed to the ongoing work to heal our local and national communities of the stain of hatred and the culture of violence. Our Honor Code and our Policy for Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination/Non-Harassment are crystal clear about the requirement for all of us to treat others with respect and to take responsibility for the respectful treatment of others.
Additionally, if you encounter any instances on our campus that violate these standards of conduct, we encourage you to call the UOG Helpline at (671) 735-HELP (4357) or bring it to the attention of our Equal Employment Opportunity Office.
Si Yu'os Må'ase,
Thomas W. Krise, Ph.D.