March 19, 2021 Update
Equity Task Force March 19 Update
Message from Connie Porter, Senior Associate Dean, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Dear Rice Business community:
Our nation continues to mourn in the wake of the murder of eight people in Atlanta, among them six Asian women. I am deeply saddened and offer my condolences to the loved ones of the victims. This mass shooting event came on the heels of a year when many of our Asian family, friends and colleagues have lived with daily fear about the possibility of being the target of a violent, racist attack.
These heinous acts of violence, targeted at Asians, often are motivated by xenophobia and fueled by rhetoric that is baseless, toxic and unacceptable on any level. Although the recent tragedy occurred in Atlanta, the pain and fear is palpable in our Rice Business home. Our hearts are heavy.
Each of us must take an active role in stopping the hatred that has been aimed at members of the Asian community in this country for decades. We must be courageous enough to speak out against Anti-Asian rhetoric and attacks, sensitive in offering support to those whom have been affected deeply by recent events, and acknowledge that some may need more time for self-healing and reflection before responding to our gestures. Healing is a journey that takes time. Still, I ask that every member of our community become an active ally to our Asian colleagues and friends, always, but especially at this time of great unease in the Asian community. When any one of us feels threatened, we all feel threatened. We must stand firm in protecting the sacred bonds of our community.
To our Asian faculty, staff, students and alumni, know that your Rice Business community is heartbroken about your suffering. Know that we embrace you at this time of heightened anxiety, pain, anger and sadness. Be encouraged. We stand in unyielding solidarity with you as we commit to call out those who dishonor you with hateful language and acts of bigotry and violence.
You are an integral part of the fabric of our school’s vibrant and diverse community. You are not invisible. We see you and appreciate all that you do to enrich and shape our perspectives and collective experience at Rice Business and beyond.
Senior Associate Dean
Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion