Dear DSI community:
I am deeply saddened by the uptick of anti-Asian rhetoric and hate crimes targeting Asian Americans across the United States since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
The nonprofit social organization Stop AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Hate recently reported that from March 2020 to February 2021, it received nearly 3800 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents, including bullying, harassment, and violence. The horrific murders of eight people in Atlanta this week, most of whom were Asian women, was yet another disturbing reminder of perpetuated discrimination against Asian Americans.
Comprehensive action is needed nationwide to combat these trends of increased racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and acts of violence against communities of color.
The Data Science Institute (DSI) at Columbia University strives to be a force for change. We condemn xenophobic sentiments and domestic terrorism, and we are committed to doing our part to dismantle decades of systematic and structural racism. We are actively addressing these issues through the leadership of Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Professor Desmond Patton; our DSI Racial Equity Advisory Committee, which includes students, staff, and faculty; and our DSI Racial Equity Action Plan.
We are only beginning, we know we need to do much more, and we know it will be a long journey.
As a reminder, the university provides these support services: