Dear Pitzer Community,

We are horrified and saddened by the recent violent attacks in Atlanta that took the lives of eight individuals, six of whom were women of Asian descent. We stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to denounce the ongoing racism and violence that has been directed at people of Asian descent, especially during the pandemic.

This past year, Stop AAPI Hate has reported 3,795 instances of hate directed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the US. Many of these incidents targeted women, and it is likely that even more incidents have gone unreported. Additionally, we have seen an unacceptable rise in gender-based violence worldwide during the pandemic and, in particular, with AAPI women reporting hate incidents 2.3 times more than AAPI men.  

These acts arise from the intersection of white supremacy, sexism, misogyny, racism, and xenophobia.  They also have been encouraged by rhetoric that is designed to scapegoat vulnerable community members as a way of shifting attention away from failures in leadership.  Sadly, violence and hatred of this kind have historically been part of a tragic pattern all too familiar to the AAPI community.

These events are upsetting and painful, and for many in our community, they are personally traumatic. The Office of Student Affairs encourages students to connect with each other and with support resources at Pitzer during this time, such as Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, the EmPOWER Center, and additional mental health & well-being resources. Pitzer’s on-call dean can be reached 24/7 by calling Campus Safety at 909.607.2000.

In addition, we thank Linda Lam at Pitzer’s Center for Asian Pacific American Students (CAPAS) for providing upcoming opportunities to access community resources:

  • Friday, March 19, 2021
    1–3 p.m. PST
    Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services Virtual APIDA Drop-in with Dr. Miao Li.
    RSVP:  bit.ly/APIDASP21  

    6:30–7:30 p.m. PT
    CAPAS Monthly Check-in: Time to share space and process our thoughts and feelings.
    zoom link
  • Wed, March 25, 2021
    5:30–6:30 p.m. PT
    Mindful Eating with PZ alumna Lena-Phuong Tran.
    zoom link

We also thank Rima Shah at the EmPOWER Center – 7C Violence Prevention and Advocacy – for providing additional opportunities:

  • Monday, April 19, at 12:30-1:45 p.m. PT, Understanding Gender, Culture, Power, and Violence in collaboration with Center for the Pacific Asian Family.
    Register by emailing empower@claremont.edu

Pitzer College is committed to confronting hate and violence through a collective and sustained effort. Our Racial Justice Initiative is expanding its resources on anti-Asian violence and will be inviting experts to provide insights and concrete steps for action. The Office of Student Affairs and the Office of the Dean of Faculty also continue their efforts to improve our collaborative community bias incident and education response protocols. Further, the Office of the Dean of Faculty supports the work of Pitzer faculty and centers, such as CEC and CASA, to combat this hateful rhetoric and violence.

We ask those who feel able to take action to do so by reviewing the resources provided, becoming active in our community around these issues, and being present and supportive for individuals who are deeply impacted. We dedicate ourselves to action and solidarity in these somber times, and we affirm our commitment to our core values, our educational mission, and our continued efforts to promote racial and social justice.

Sincerely,

Melvin L. Oliver, President
On behalf of the President’s Cabinet

Allen Omoto, Vice President and Dean of Faculty
On behalf of the Office of Academic Affairs

Sandy Vasquez, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs
On behalf of the Office of Student Affairs