March 19, 2021
Dear members of the USC community,
Like so many around the world, I was heartbroken by the tragic events in Atlanta that took eight innocent lives, six of them Asian women. It’s saddening and deeply upsetting that these attacks – which appear to be rooted in a mix of racial, gender, and sexual bias – come amid a disturbing rise of anti-Asian violence in our country. This news weighs heavily on our hearts and minds. I want to assure you that USC stands with the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community in vehemently condemning these hate crimes.
Hatred has no place at our university. We must stand up to bigotry and discrimination, in all their forms. We must stand against misogyny and xenophobia, wherever and whenever they appear. USC is – and will always be – a place that welcomes everyone, no matter where they come from. This includes all of our APIDA students, alumni, faculty, staff, neighbors, and friends across the world. They can count on our support and compassion.
I know that many people are hurting and concerned for their friends and family. The physical and mental health of our community – and especially our students – is our number one priority. Help is here for anyone who needs it:
- Students, staff, and faculty can report incidents of bias and discrimination here.
- Students can seek support from USC Student Health, Counseling and Mental Health Services, Office of International Services, Asian Pacific American Student Services and any of the Student Equity and Inclusion Program centers.
- Faculty and staff can seek support from the Center for Work and Family Life.
We’ll keep looking out for one another – that’s what it means to be part of the Trojan community. To you and all your loved ones, please stay safe and stay well.
Carol L. Folt