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Commissioner Santiago’s Message to Staff on Anti-Asian Violence

Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago
March 18, 2021

Dear Colleagues, 

Once again, I am reaching out to you in our shared grief and to state clearly our solidarity with our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) students and colleagues in the aftermath of a heinous act of violence in our country.  

We learned yesterday of the unprovoked attack against eight women in Georgia, six of whom were Asian American. This incident follows escalating violence against AAPI communities across the country during the course of the pandemic. It follows a long history of violence perpetrated against AAPI people.  

This message is intended to express my unequivocal support for our AAPI students, faculty, staff, and administration who have and continue to experience profound grief. And also, a commitment that I will ensure that our efforts to dismantle systemic racism in public higher education in the Commonwealth are carried out in a way that acknowledges and honors the distinct barriers and burdens placed on AAPI students. May we all commit to building a world that honors our AAPI students in the fullness of their human dignity.

It is with respect that I also acknowledge our Student Advisory Council, which released an important statement last night. I have attached it here and urge you to read it. Congratulations to Jurgo Gushi and his colleagues for their thought leadership and I look forward to working with the SAC and all of our public higher education colleagues as we confront the systemic racism and violence this incident has exposed. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank you again for your service to our campus communities, especially in pursuit of our racial equity agenda. I welcome your comments, as always. 

Carlos E. Santiago
Commissioner