Dear Catlin Gabel Community,
Yesterday we witnessed horrific violence committed against members of the Asian community in greater Atlanta. This is not the first incident of this kind; as you know, acts of hate and harassment against Asian and Asian American people have increased in recent months across the United States. This violence is yet another expression of race and ethnic identity-based hatred instigated by xenophobic politicians and organizations. It reflects an attempt to scapegoat members of our shared community based on COVID-19 fears as well as latent and historic biases against Asians.
At Catlin Gabel we denounce and condemn such hatred and violence. We affirm our commitment to equity and inclusion, and our deep appreciation for our Asian and Asian American community members. This unwarranted and inexcusable mistreatment of fellow citizens violates our school’s values of kindness, inclusion, and integrity, and everything we teach our students about the intrinsic worth and value of every person.
We addressed these concerns at a recent Middle School Assembly, and our Diversity Summit on May 5 will include opportunities for students to learn more. We need to ensure, immediately, however, that all students understand the import of these recent events, the school’s clear and determined position on equity and justice for all, how we can support the Asian and Asian American community, and the importance of raising our voices in opposition to such violence and hatred.
To that end, we will make time before and after spring vacation to engage students in age-appropriate ways in all divisions. In the Upper School, we will host a virtual assembly tomorrow and support post-vacation conversations. Middle School students will continue to follow up on their assembly with C&C discussions. In the Beginning and Lower School, we will equip teachers to acknowledge recent events, hold space for this topic during morning meetings this Friday, and send information to parents to aid in conversations at home. To help guide us in this work, we are reaching out to the Asian American Parent and Student Affinity Groups at Catlin Gabel.
If we can help you or your family in any way at this time, please let your child’s division head, Barbara, or me know as soon as possible. In the meantime, I am asking everyone at Catlin Gabel School to recognize the seriousness of this situation, and to do what you can to combat race and identity-based violence, actively and personally.
Resources for all of us:
- ABC News: Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University, Dr. Sherry Wang, discusses layers of racial trauma experienced by Asian Americans and Pacific Islander community
- Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council: Data on discriminatory acts among AAPI communities
- Time magazine article: I Will Not Stand Silent: 10 Asian Americans reflect on racism during the pandemic and equality
- HuffPost article: This Is What No One Tells You About Being Asian In America in 2021
- LA Times: Anti-Asian hate crimes and harassment rise to historic levels during Covid-19 pandemic
- PBS Newshour: How to address the surge of anti-Asian hate crimes
- The Atlantic: What It’s like when Racism Comes for You