Letter of Support & Call to Action

March 18, 2021

Dear Students,
 
UMB Student Affairs expresses our support for the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAAPI) communities. We also condemn the racist, biased, and hate-filled actions that have a long history of occurrence in the United States and continue to target the Asian community since the start of the pandemic.
 
Six of the eight people killed in Atlanta, GA on March 16, 2020 were Asian women. This is the most recent high profile attack on the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. In nearby Howard County, MD, four Asian-owned restaurants were burglarized and vandalized in February 2020 as many were celebrating the Lunar New Year. Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition aimed at addressing anti-Asian discrimination during the pandemic, reports that 3,795 incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying have occurred against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States between March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021.
 
The impact, hurt, pain, and fear extends beyond the individuals directly involved in these senseless killings, hate crimes, and incidents of discrimination and bias. These actions can trigger fear and frustration. To members of the AAAPI community, know that you are valued. You and your contributions to the UMB community and beyond are immeasurable. Please contact friends, loved ones, and resources on campus and in the community for support, including the following at UMB:
 
  • Student Counseling Center – Contact the Crisis Support Line (410-328-8404; press 7 to be directly connected to a counselor), available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Visit the Student Counseling Center website to access resources, sign-up to participate in Let’s Tele-Talk, or to schedule an appointment. 
  • Intercultural Center – Consider attending The Table Dialogue on Wednesday, March 24 from Noon-1pm. The Table is a monthly dialogue series where UMB students, staff, and faculty are invited to discuss current issues and unpack questions regarding race, ethnicity, culture, and norms. 
  • Office of International Services
  • Student Affairs Deans Office in your School
  • UMB Student Affairs
  • UMB Crazy Stressed Asians Meeting - Building a safe space/community to explore the impact of our culture, heritage and identity on mental health and wellbeing. Hosted by Dr. Crystal Han, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt, and Dr. Angeline Pham, Adult Psychiatry Resident at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt. Monthly virtual meetings held to engage, share, and discuss key topics to support Asian and Asian American students. The aim is to provide support and psychoeducation—this is not group therapy. You may remain anonymous if preferred. Personal information will not be collected, shared or published. If you have questions, contact CHan@som.umaryland.edu.
  • UMB Hotline – Incidents of bias or discrimination can be reported via the UMB Hotline. You can share your name and contact information or report an incident anonymously.
 
It is my hope that we will individually and collectively take steps to show our support of our AAAPI family members, friends, colleagues, and community members through our actions. These actions may include increasing our knowledge and awareness of the AAAPI community and how we can be of support, learning about white privilege, intervening when we hear hurtful or biased comments, and creating more inclusive environments where we live, study, and work.
 
Sincerely,
 
Patty Alvarez, PhD, MS
Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs
Office of Academic Affairs
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers