March 17, 2021 | Office of the President

Atlanta Murders (March 17, 2021)

To our students, faculty, and staff,

Yesterday, we again witnessed horrific violence in our country—in this instance, the murders in Atlanta of six women of Asian identity and two white individuals. 

Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and also to those of Asian identity in the Bowdoin community who mourn and who worry for their safety and for the safety of those they care about. This is a time with significant mental health challenges generally, and for many, these murders now add substantially to this burden. I urge anyone in distress to reach out to the resources on campus, or to those available nationally, to help you. For our students, this begins with our Counseling and Wellness Services. For faculty and staff, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential help and guidance twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. If you know of someone in distress, please urge them to seek out these resources. If you are the victim of an act of racially motivated hatred or are witness to such an act, please report it immediately to Bowdoin’s Safety and Security team. If you are an ally, be one: reach out to your friends and colleagues, offer to talk, listen, and learn, and act to resist violence and to further community.

In addition to these programs, some of our students of Asian identity have provided these resources:

To report an anti-Asian hate crime or bias incident online:

Stop AAPI Hate (national site)
Asian American Federation (NY, NJ, CT)

For safety tips and witness support:

Stop AAPI Hate on safety tips for experiencing or witnessing hate crimes
Asian American Federation on anti-hate safety resources

Emergency and crisis hotlines:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline @ 1-800-273-TALK (more than 150 languages offered)

Asian LifeNet Hotline @ 1-877-990-8585 (24 hours; Cantonese, Mandarin, Fujianese, Japanese, Korean offered)

For Asian American mental health information and support:

Asian, Pacific Islander, and South Asian American (APISAA) Therapist Directory
Asian Mental Health Collective
Asian American Suicide Prevention & Education
American Psychological Association on racial stress and self-care

While the motivation behind yesterday’s murders continues to be investigated, as I wrote to you on February 26, there has been an alarming increase in violence directed at the Asian American community in this country over the past year. It is essential that all of us commit ourselves to understanding the reality of the life-threatening nature of racism, and to acknowledging the substantial contribution to this threat that comes from those who deny racism, not simply those who actively promote racial hatred. This is work that we will continue to do together.

Thank you for the care you give to one another.