Last week we learned of the violent shootings in Georgia that killed eight people, six of them of Asian descent, and we are yet again grief-stricken by the tragic and unnecessary loss of lives. This racist and misogynistic act is a painful punctuation on a year of increased attacks on Asians and Asian Americans throughout the pandemic. 

We write today to express the outrage and solidarity of our community against these horrific acts, to acknowledge the pain, fear and sadness that so many are feeling – and we want you to know that you are not alone.

You are our colleagues, our students, our mentors, our leaders – and our friends.

These terrible acts and the harmful sentiment have been mounting in recent years as hostility has grown towards people of Chinese origin. This continues to underscore the white supremacy and structural racism that continues to go unchecked, and our inability to move past our ugly history of racism. 

The pandemic year has meant a surge in anti-Asian violence and many targets are very often women and the elderly. These acts are especially disturbing in the context of several years of suspicion and hostility focused on people of Asian descent. 

The Henry Madden Library stands firm in our support of our Asian and Asian American community — our students, staff, faculty, and alumni – and denounces these acts of violence. The COVID pandemic has already disproportionately impacted BIPOC communities, and in addition to this, the rise in violence against Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander people has only added to the fear and pain our community members endure.

But we at the Henry Madden Library know it is not enough to offer support and to denounce this despicable harm. We must continually work toward changing the systems that allow racism to survive. If there is anything you think we should know as we work to create more inclusive library spaces, please email Dean Del Hornbuckle (dhornbuckle@csufresno.edu).

For those who would like to learn more about the history and continuation of anti-Asian racism in the United States, we suggest the following resources from several library partners:

And some other resources to find and provide support:

While the Henry Madden Library is here to support and assist in any way that we can, we also know how important being allowed a space to grieve and process is for everyone. We encourage members of our campus community to avail themselves of the resources here at Fresno State.

Sincerely, 

Henry Madden Library Administration