March 25, 2021

Expression of Support for the AAPI Community: In Response to the Atlanta Murders on March 16, 2021

by McCormick Center


 is not the time

 to be quiet

 or make room for you

 when we have had no room at all

 is our time

 to be mouthy

 get as loud as we need

 to be heard”

—rupi kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

The McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership is devastated by the atrocious acts of racism and misogyny that were committed in the murder of eight people, six of whom were Asian American women, in Atlanta on March 16th. This was not a foreign attack but one that was grown at home.

This attack originated within our own communities, fostered by ideals and attitudes which were promoted and encouraged on the basis of hatred. It is important to acknowledge that this event was not a singular occurrence. There has been a recent surge in race-related attacks against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. An additional, yet important, factor to acknowledge is that this attack was spurred by misogyny and the fetishization of Asian women. It is no coincidence that six of the victims were Asian women, who have long been objectified, fetishized, and subject to violence, dehumanization, and other acts that treat them as less than human.

We must look inward and find room for growth, understanding, and a commitment to be better. It is time to reflect on our own biases. In pursuit of a more inclusive and accepting society, we must continue to learn. We must learn for ourselves as well as consider what information children are exposed to as they learn about our communities and country. As citizens, community members, and especially as leaders in the early childhood education and care field, we have a responsibility. To help begin this process, you may find numerous helpful resources for yourself and children at the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center’s website.

We condemn the recent heinous act of violence in Atlanta and the vitriolic and spurious messaging that contributed to it and other acts of hatred again AAPI. We condemn not only this atrocity but also the general hate-mongering towards people of the AAPI community since the onset of the pandemic. We stand in solidarity with the communities who have been discriminated against and victimized. We will attempt to eradicate these acts by continuing to be an inclusive, welcoming, and diverse center for early childhood leaders. We pledge to continue to invest in educating ourselves and providing resources about the importance of this work.

We encourage you to reach out to friends or other individuals you may know who identify as members of the AAPI community. Now, more than ever, is the time to be empathetic and stand in solidarity with Asian Americans.

Daoyou Feng.

Delaina Ashley Yaun.

Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz (survived).

Hyun Jung Grant.

Paul Andre Michels.

Soon Chung Park.

Suncha Kim.

Yong Ae Yue.

Xiaojie Tan.