Message from the Chancellor, the President and the Chief Diversity Officer
March 18, 2021
The following message was distributed to the Webster University community on March 18, 2021.
To the Webster University Community,
Webster University condemns all forms of violence and any type of racism.
This week, a tragic and senseless mass-killing in Atlanta that claimed eight lives calls our attention to how Asian Americans have been seriously impacted by the pandemic. This unacceptable act of violence has triggered a national debate about bigotry, racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans. The number of incidents of violence and other racist acts against Asian Americans have increased exponentially since early 2020, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center.
Webster University condemns all of these acts of violence and hatred. This racism targeting the Asian and Pacific Islander community should not be tolerated in society and will not be tolerated in our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of this senseless violent spree and our concern is with the victims who survived and who are recovering.
Over the past year many of us have struggled with the pandemic, from the loss of opportunities and the curtailing of celebrations with loved ones to illnesses and deaths in our families. But we must acknowledge that some have faced far more difficult issues during this time due to their race or ethnicity. For example, Black and Latino communities have higher rates of illness, death and unemployment due to the pandemic, and fewer resources available to them. Members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community who are women face a particular burden in that they deal with discrimination for their gender, their race, and sometimes their socioeconomic condition too. In the killings in Atlanta, Asian women who live in America were victimized due to this senseless violence.
We and our community stand behind all of our Asian and Pacific Islander students wherever they may be in the world as part of the Webster system, a system that deplores violence and racism. We want all our Asian and Pacific-Islander students, faculty and staff to know that we support you, value you, and stand with you in solidarity. If you would like to speak with someone, please know that our Counseling and Life Development Departmentis here to help you navigate these issues. Additionally, we remind our colleagues that, through EAP, counseling and other resources are available. If you witness or experience any acts of bias, reach out immediately to Public Safety, the Dean of Students Office, or a trusted faculty or staff member at the University for support and guidance.
Working to dismantle institutional racism and hate is an ongoing process and the University is actively engaged in this work. We must work together.
Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble
Julian Z. Schuster
Vincent C. Flewellen
Chief Diversity Officer