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Message on the Atlanta shootings from James Felton, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

To the Campus Community:

Like many of you, President Foster and I were horrified to learn of the senseless and deadly shootings of eight people that took place across a string of Asian-owned businesses in Georgia yesterday. Whether or not the ongoing investigation into these acts of violence finds a racial motivation, the rise in hate crimes toward the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) community since the beginning of the pandemic has been nothing short of horrific.

Unfortunately, anti-Asian sentiment is not new. Asian Americans have experienced a long history of bias, discrimination and hate—whether it be the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the internment camps during World War II, or present-day impacts of islamophobia on the South Asian community.

Recent TCNJ alumna Katrina Bragat ’20 illustrates the historical waves of racism on Asian Americans through her short documentary film “Tides.” Additional resources include the books Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning and Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, the PBS Series Asian Americans, and the series of video shorts #AsianAmCovidStories.

We understand the hurt, fear, and trauma that these recent developments may have caused for members of our campus community. If at any time you do not feel safe either on-campus or during college held activities (flex classes, internships, practicums, etc.) please contact Campus Police at 609.771.2345 or tcnjpd@tcnj.edu. If you feel you are the victim or a target of bias, you can complete a bias incident form. If you feel you need to talk to someone, we encourage you to schedule an appointment through the Mental Health Services Office.

Further, there are a number of local and national agencies that promote social and economic justice for Asian Americans. They include:

Finally, Dr. Foster and I encourage all members of the campus community to attend a program on the “Asian Student Experience-A Student Government Open Forum” on Thursday, March 25th from 7-8 p.m. It will provide an opportunity to hear from Asian students, who will share their experiences on and off campus. Below is the registration information:

Zoom Meeting ID: 937 1161 0017
Zoom Meeting Password: 321033

As a community, we stand in solidarity against racism of any kind and in support of those who others would seek to marginalize.

Yours in inclusion,
James A. Felton III
Vice President for Inclusive Excellence