Dear Campus Community,
I write to you today with a heavy heart as I read news about yet another senseless act of violence in America. Today we hear about six Asian women and two others killed in an attack in Atlanta, Georgia. Though early indications are that it was not specifically race motivated, it is not lost on me that the victims were mostly Asian and women. Just days ago an elderly Asian man in Oakland was hit by a suspect after greeting him, and another victim was hospitalized with severe injuries after being physically assaulted while taking a walk in his neighborhood. These deplorable crimes of hate and targeted attacks against Asians have been ongoing since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and they must stop as much all acts.
The Ohlone Community College District firmly stands against all hate, racism, discrimination, and violence against any group and will not tolerate it in any form. The horrific shootings and murders in Atlanta yesterday are a stark reminder that we have much work to do. In light of the ongoing violence toward our Asian communities, locally and across the country, this message is to strongly condemn such acts and to remind us that we stand in solidarity and community with each other.
Our community and the world around us must realize that we are one family and one human race and that we cannot continue hurting one another. Though Atlanta seems like a world away, we now live in a global society where what happens in one part of the country impacts us all—the fear and emotional triggers have no geographic boundary.
Though we are not together in person, we are still a learning community. To that end I have asked that the following happen: Mental health counselors and counseling services have been made available for students who may be having concerns, fears, or additional anxiety in this time. Employees have access to our EAP program to receive necessary emotional support. And, I have asked Campus Police to visibly survey and to increase coverage of the campus community. Our physical absence does not diminish the community’s use of our campus. All must feel safe and welcome in our world.
We continue to work at ensuring that unity and tolerance be the standard bearer for us and that we maintain a safe learning and working environment. We must not take lightly acts of violence anywhere to minimize the chances of them happening here. I hope that this message leaves you with a sense of solace knowing that Ohlone cares and that we are here for you.
Eric B. Bishop, Ed.D.
Ohlone Community College District