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Statement following killing of women of Asian descent in Atlanta

March 18, 2021

The Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at The University of Akron unreservedly condemns the senseless killing of eight people, including six women of Asian descent in Atlanta on March 16, 2021. Our thoughts, sympathies and prayers go to the families of those victims.

While investigations are ongoing to establish the motive of the perpetrator of this heinous crime, it should not be farfetched to suggest that this act was committed based on hate. Indeed, the upsurge of violent crimes against Asian Americans in recent times bears ample testimony to that assumption. This development has been fueled by recent incessant political rhetoric on the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the belief or suggestion of Chinese culpability.

At this point, we call on all stakeholders to recognize that America’s strength rests with its diversity, and thus, it is imperative to stand in unity and fight against all criminal or inhumane acts that target a segment of its population.

We call on all faculty, students, staff and the entire University of Akron community to actively defend or counter all forms of hate and racism against people of Asian descent and other minority populations on campus and in the larger society. We must recognize that hate and crime against any member of our society affects all of us.

The Northeast Ohio Online Vigil Against Anti-Asian Violence on March 19, 2021, was supported by The University of Akron , Asian Services in Action, the Akron NAACP, the Akron Civil Rights Commission, the United Way of Summit & Medina and many others. #StopAsianHate