I write, once again, with profound sadness at the news of the murder of eight people, including six Asian women, in Atlanta earlier this week. This act of domestic terrorism Is shocking but is just the latest in a large number of attacks on our Asian and Pacific Islander citizens. The number of attacks against people of Asian descent has increased sharply in recent months, resulting from the rising anti-Asian rhetoric we’ve witnessed over the past few years. Georgia state Representative Bee Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American to serve in the Georgia House, called it a crime committed at the “intersection of gender-based violence, misogyny and xenophobia.” 

Now, more than ever, social workers have an important job to do – to make sure individuals in our communities feel safe and supported and to advocate for policies that will ensure atrocities like this will never happen again. As we learn more about this senseless act, we recognize how members of our Asian and Pacific Islander communities have been impacted by this tragedy. Please reach out to friends, relatives, colleagues, and community members with your support and ensure that you have knowledge of both general and specific resources for the Asian/Pacific Islander community. As social workers, we continue to stand united to create a more tolerant and just society. One of the primary lessons from this year is the extent to which we are called to action, as individuals and a profession, to fight for social justice. Let us commit to demonstrating that social workers are powerful agents for change.

As members of the Rutgers community, we will remain open to and engaged in conversations about the state of racial justice in our communities. I invite you to participate in “Unpacking Hate,” an event sponsored by the office of the Senior Vice President for Equity. To learn more and to register, please visit https://diversity.rutgers.edu/unpackhate. Rutgers also provides many resources and access to support, which you will find below.

An attack on any person, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other status in our community, is an attack on all of us. On behalf of the entire School of Social Work, I stand in solidarity with our Asian and Pacific Islander community members.

In solidarity,

Cathryn C. Potter
Dean and Distinguished Professor

Bias Reporting and Counseling/Wellness Services for Students

Bias Reporting and Counseling/Wellness Services for Faculty and Staff