Honoring those Lost with Allyship, Attention and Action

NC State Belltower with Kwanzan cherry tree

Dear Wolfpack Community,

In this incredibly difficult time, it hurts me more than words can express that we have experienced more violence and tragedy as a nation. The deaths of eight people, including six who identified within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, is heartbreaking, and the Zoom raid on our virtual vigil was shocking and caused additional impact.

We reaffirm our commitment to protect and support our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. As Chancellor Woodson said in his message on March 18, these tragedies serve as an “important reminder of the continued need to confront hate and injustice, and to continue striving to welcome and support all members of our community.” 

My office and so many others here at NC State work to lift up the voices and lived experiences of marginalized groups, to promote awareness and change, to bolster the allyship of our entire community, and to ensure access and the opportunities to succeed that higher education or employment at our great university affords. Even as we grieve these terrible incidents, we applaud affirmations of commitment and calls to action to keep striving for equality — to help everyone stand on a level playing field so that they can learn, work and live on a campus that becomes more and more inclusive each year.

In the days after the shooting in Atlanta, many departments and colleges held open sessions to create the space for support and learning. Our community continues to learn ways to be there for each other and the importance of bearing witness, increasing our collective capacity to create belonging and inclusion within our spheres here at NC State, even if we can’t change the whole world. 

I hope that you will take a moment to reflect and honor the lives lost in Atlanta. Please see our companion article for where to find support and actions you can take to educate yourself about the AAPI community or to help stop anti-AAPI bias. 

In celebration of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month, I invite you to join NC State Libraries and Multicultural Student Affairs in the virtual Campus History Series: Asian and Asian American History at NC State on March 31 at noon.

Our African American Cultural Center will also offer another virtual workshop in our MLK Master Class With Ashley Gaddy Enterprises: The Revolution Within Us: Finding Your Leadership Identity on March 30 at 6 p.m.

On April 3, Multicultural Student Affairs will virtually present NC State’s 30th annual Powwow.

The Women’s Center presents its annual Take Back the Night event, also virtual this year, on April 6.

In solidarity,

Sheri L. Schwab, J.D., M.Ed., ‘97
Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity
Title IX and ADA Coordinator
NC State University