At the one-year mark of the global pandemic and the witnessing of an historic reckoning of systemic racism, we at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union — Center for Campus Life (STAMP) are reminded of the important, collective work we still must do to support and live the mission to which we are committed: "To provide a safe and inviting campus center where all UMD students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members cultivate lifelong relationships founded on engagement, learning, multiculturalism, and citizenship."
With reports of violence against the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community rising across the nation, we recognize that the elements and factors leading to the Anti-Asian violence are a part of the larger systems of oppression, white supremacy, capitalism, and the pitting of people against one another.
At the University of Maryland, we value Asian Americans as important members of our society who contribute rich resources to our campus community through research, work, teaching, and scholarship (reiterated and reaffirmed in the March 4, 2021 campus-wide email from Dr. Georgina Dodge, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, and Dr. Patty Perillo, Vice President for Student Affairs; and in the Feb. 26, 2021 letter from Dr. Patty Perillo, Vice President for Student Affairs, to the Division of Student Affairs).
Since COVID-19 began, xenophobic violence against Asian American people and Asian American-owned businesses has spread across this country. While this is happening in the moment, it is not relegated to the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, but is part of a larger structure that perpetuates racism against Black and Brown communities as well. We must not accept violence, harassment, and racism against any of these communities. We can do better and we must. We must stand and support cross-racial solidarity.
We also acknowledge and recognize that within this environment, the pandemic continues to disproportionately impact communities of color at the University of Maryland (UMD), in the state of Maryland, and throughout our nation.
At STAMP, we remain dedicated to providing safe spaces for dialogue and access to resources for our AAPI community and all under-served and under-represented populations on campus:
STAMP continues its steadfast commitment to cross-racial solidarity work through looking critically at our own internal practices and workplace climate. We are also closely examining our policies, which have a direct impact on our students and other STAMP stakeholders.
Other References: “Asian Americans at UMD grapple with surge in violence against their community,” The Diamondback, Feb. 25, 2021.