March 18, 2021

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,

We write to express our deep sorrow over the violence in Georgia on Tuesday night that took the lives of eight people, including six Asian and Asian American women, and that critically injured another. It was a heartbreaking reminder that violence, including violence against women and against Asian and Asian American community members is not new, that it is on the rise, and that the dignity of all people is not conditional. We denounce violent action and affirm our care and solidarity with our Asian and Asian American students and members of our wider community.

As we keep the victims in our thoughts, along with their families and friends, we are also thinking of our campus community’s wellbeing. Please know that if anyone in our community experiences any form of discrimination, bias or violence, the Colleges are here to support you. You can call Campus Safety at any time at 315-781-3333 to receive immediate attention. You can use the HWS Bias Incident Reporting tool or reach out to anyone in a leadership role to report bias or discrimination, and we will follow up. Counseling services are available to our students and to our faculty and staff at any time, and the Office of Spiritual Engagement also stands ready to engage with members of our community and can be reached at 315-781-3671 or by contacting Chaplain Nita Byrd directly at byrd@hws.edu.

For those who want to better understand the history of anti-Asian violence and racism, we have included resources below. We also encourage us all to learn more about community-based organizations such as the National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum that work to protect the dignity and rights of Asian and Pacific Islander women.

Lastly, we hope that you will take a moment to check in on one another and affirm one another. It may seem like a small gesture, but at difficult moments it can be a powerful act of care.


Joyce Jacobsen

Khuram Hussain
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Teaching and learning about the history of Anti-Asian violence and racism in the United States: