Statement on Anti-Asian Violence

Published March 18, 2021

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a deeply disturbing spike in incidents of hatred and violence against Asians and Asian Americans in our country. With this week’s horrific shootings in Atlanta of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, this has intensified the concern and fear already reverberating across the Asian and Asian American communities. We stand in sorrow and solidarity with our students, faculty and staff of Asian descent. Moreover, as a global community of scholars grounded in ideals of social justice, we condemn, in the strongest of terms, anti-Asian harassment, hatred and violence—just as we condemn the ignorance, prejudice and bigotry at their root.

At UB, we are incredibly fortunate to count a large—and growing—number of students, faculty and staff of Asian descent as members of our university community. In fact, Asian and Asian American students comprise a significant percentage of our student enrollment. We have strong international partnerships with 40 universities in Asia—and some of these collaborations date back 40 years. Going back even further in our institutional history, UB’s first students from Asia attended our medical school in the 19th century.

Throughout this time, we have always treasured UB’s Asian and Asian American communities for their diversity of intellectual perspective, the cultural richness they share with our campus community and their critical contributions to pressing societal issues. At this moment, sadly, one of the most troubling issues is xenophobia. That is why it is imperative that we at UB reaffirm, and recommit to, our mission and identity as a university grounded in principles of inclusion, diversity and social justice.

We know that we can effect positive and lasting change through the education of our students, our research, our creative activities, and our collective commitment to the greater good. UB must always serve as a beacon of hope. By harnessing our mission of excellence, we can overcome ignorance and the stigmatization, divisiveness and hostility that it breeds.

To our entire UB community—and to our Asian and Asian American communities in particular, let me reiterate: Hate has no haven at UB. We will never allow xenophobia to gain traction on our campus. We are here for you, we stand with you, and we deeply value all of your contributions to our campus community.