March 18, 2021
Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty of the Jacobs School of Music,
First, my heart goes out to Asian and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, staff, and faculty after yesterday’s mass shooting that killed 8 people including 6 Asian women in Acworth and Atlanta, Georgia. White supremacist and gender-based violence is abhorrent and has no place in our society, our campus, or our school. I stand with you in solidarity against white supremacist violence, terrorism and anti-Asian hate. If you need support, a listening ear, or resources please don’t hesitate to schedule time to meet with me. You may email me at email@example.com to schedule a time to chat.
It is not a secret that anti-Asian violence and bigotry has seen a sharp uptick in the last year, and last night’s tragedy is a stark reminder that we have much work to do. Violence and bigotry against the Asian and AAPI community is not a new phenomenon in the United States, from the 1871 Chinese Massacre, to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, to Executive Order 9066 (Japanese Relocation), the racist ideas of “yellow peril” after World War II, the hyper-sexualization of Southeast Asian women, the exploitation of Filipino farmers in the 1970s, and the countless acts of violence, hatred and bigotry after 9/11, the SARS epidemic and the current coronavirus pandemic. These forms of violence and discrimination has never been acceptable, and we must do all we can to end it.
The Jacobs School of Music would not be what it is without the talents of Asian and AAPI students, faculty and staff. Asian and AAPI students make up 23% of our student population. The Asian and AAPI community has contributed so much the world of music and performing arts, and thus we all have a responsibility to stand up against anti-Asian racism in all its forms. Indiana University Bloomington is committed to anti-racism and in that commitment, we must choose to be antiracist. In doing so we become actively conscious about race and racism and take actions to end racial inequities in our daily lives. Being antiracist is believing that racism is everyone’s problem, and we all have a role to play in stopping it.
As a Black woman, and your Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator, I denounce any and all forms of racism, white supremacy, bigotry, discrimination and anti-Asian sentiment, violence and prejudice. It has no place in the Jacobs School of Music. As Dean Allen shared after the horrific murder of George Floyd, I echo that we, as a school, insist upon justice and equality for Asian and AAPI people as well as other people of color. I too, believe we are made stronger by a culturally diverse faculty, staff, and student body, and we strengthen our commitment to providing equal opportunity for all persons. As your new Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, I will always strive to welcome, support, and learn from faculty, staff, and students who reflect the gender, racial, and ethnic diversity of our nation.
If you or someone you know has experienced bias, violence, or discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, religion, or other social identity, please report it here. If you do not feel comfortable reporting alone or want support while doing so, I am available to meet with you and walk you through the process. I want to again express my condolences to the AAPI community in the wake of this tragedy. Let this be a sobering reminder that there is much work to be done. To learn more about anti-Asian violence and how you can be a better ally, please visit this link.
“Without community, there is no liberation…but community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.” - Audre Lorde.
Sachet K. Watson, M.S.
Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator
Statement from Dean Jeremy Allen regarding Anti-Asian Violence
Dear Students, Staff, Faculty, and Friends of the IU Jacobs School of Music,
We are shocked and appalled at yesterday’s violent acts in Acworth and Atlanta, Georgia, in which eight people were murdered. Among the dead are six women of Asian descent. This crime represents only the most recent act of violence in a year of relentless increases in the number and severity of hate crimes perpetrated against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Hate crimes such as this are by definition senseless, and have no place in our communities. We must recognize them for what they are and reject the racism, bigotry, and misogyny at their heart. And we are called upon to address our own community with understanding and compassion and to reaffirm our support for everyone, especially our friends and colleagues who feel the fear and uncertainty that comes with seeing themselves targeted in this way. We must be here for each other.
So let us recommit to our ideals: at the IU Jacobs School of Music, racism and gender-based racism and bigotry, in any form, will not be tolerated. Acts of such should be reported, and will be addressed. If you, or someone you know, has experienced or witnessed bias, violence, or discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, religion, or other social identity, please report it here. Additionally, if you need support, further resources, or to have a meaningful conversation, please reach out to Sachet Watson, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator. Ms. Watson can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our work in the service of making the Jacobs School into the community we want it to be, and know it can be, is a joyful labor in which we all play a part. I hope that we all will take advantage of our opportunities to look inward, to reach out, and to create a culture of inclusion and understanding.
David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean (Interim)