A Message from the President

Office of the President

Dear Graduate Center colleagues,

The horrific murders of eight people in Atlanta this week, six of whom were women of Asian descent, has shocked the nation. This was not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern of escalating racism and violence targeting Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. These attacks have been stoked by ignorant, harmful statements by political leaders, and fueled by rising xenophobia and antipathy towards others. These sentiments are not new. They are deeply rooted in our history and have flourished as our social and economic structures have faltered during the pandemic.

I write to express my outrage at this state of affairs, my profound sadness for those who have lost their lives or been hurt by these attacks, and my solidarity with all who are working toward racial equity and justice. The attacks remind us of our shared responsibilities: to speak out against bigotry, to stand by those who are targets of racism and injustice, to challenge ignorance, to fight inequality, and to hold our elected officials accountable for their words and deeds.

I am grateful to be part of a compassionate and scholarly community in which we look out for one another and pursue knowledge to advance a safer, more equal, and more just society. Chancellor Matos Rodríguez has called for us [cuny.edu] to “commit to building a society that fully champions diversity and equality, tolerance and inclusion.” We must recognize and end persistent and systemic racism, xenophobia, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness.

I encourage you to learn more about rising incidents targeting Asian American and Pacific Islanders through this report from Stop AAPI Hate. Please also take time to read the recent interview with Graduate Center Professor Celina Su about mounting anti-Asian attacks, and how we can act in solidarity and address their root causes. At a hearing today at 10 a.m., Congress will address the issue of discrimination and violence against Asian Americans.

Support services are available for those who may be in need:

As a community, let us stand together against hatred and reaffirm our commitment to knowledge, understanding, and action that will advance the values we share.


Robin L. Garrell

Submitted on: MAR 18, 2021

Category: GCstories | General GC News | President's Office - Community Message