Dear Union Community,
It is with profound grief and outrage that I write to you after this week’s murder of eight people, including six targeted women of Asian descent, in and near Atlanta. At Union, we stand in solidarity with all of our siblings across the nation, especially with our AAPI siblings, in condemning the escalating violence against this community.
I am particularly aware of growing anti-Asian violence in our own neighborhood and city. Of all major urban areas in the US, New York City has seen by far the largest increase of anti-Asian violence over the last year. Just recently, a AAPI woman was knocked down on the street and seriously injured and a man of Asian descent was stabbed in the back, just because he was Asian in New York. The reality of this violence is not something anyone can hold at arm’s length; it is close to home, it is deadly, and it must stop.
At Union, we will be holding several events in the coming weeks to address AAPI hate crimes and racism. We stand committed to stopping these horrifying events and creating safe, bold spaces in which the AAPI community can thrive inside of Union as well as all around us. On Friday, March 19, our Dean of the Chapel, Dr. Sandra Montez, hosted a special chapel service that can be viewed here.
We live in turbulent times; the deadly harms of the racism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and religious extremism that have long been with us continue to rise. At the same time, our collective demands for racial reckoning, broad solidarity, and social justice are growing stronger by the day. May we dare to dream of a day when there will be no need to plan worship services like this afternoon’s service because, in our land, no one, anywhere, at any time, is viewed as prey.
Join me in holding in prayer those killed in Atlanta and all AAPI people who live under the threatening cloud of fear and hatred. In these clouded times, let justice roll on like a river and righteousness like a mighty stream. (Amos 5:24.)
With deep grief and fierce determination,