Diversity & Inclusion
Asian Studies Program Statement on the Murders in Atlanta and the Dramatic Rise in Anti-Asian Racism
The Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University condemns in the strongest terms the murders in Atlanta and the recent rise in incidents of anti-Asian racism. While the police are still determining the motive for yesterday’s tragedy, civil society groups and government experts have warned that it takes place in the context of rising anti-Asian hate crimes. This trend is particularly distressing for those of us who have dedicated our careers to strengthening understanding and cooperation with Asia. As students of the history of American engagement with the region, we know how vital the contributions of Asians and Asian Americans have been to our country’s dynamism at home and connectivity across the Pacific. We also know how racist attitudes have undermined American credibility and leadership at critical junctures in history, sometimes fueling cycles of distrust with and among states in the region to our own detriment. Combatting racism of this kind is not only a moral imperative, in other words, but a strategic one as well. Fortunately, our national leaders have spoken out, including Secretary of State Tony Blinken who was in Seoul when this tragedy occurred. For all of us who committed to the Georgetown Call for Action against Global Racism last year, this is a time to redouble our efforts. We know that we can count on all of you to be part of that conversation and mobilization to show the world the better angels of our souls.
Asian Studies Program Core Principles of Diversity and Inclusion
The Walsh School of Foreign Service was established in the wake of World War I to prepare “future leaders to make the world safer, more equitable, more prosperous, and more peaceful.” Building on this mission, the Asian Studies Program was founded in 1980 with the objectives of educating future specialists of Asia and supporting rigorous scholarship of Asian societies and cultures. As a field, Asian studies has itself had to reckon with and evolve past its colonial origins in which Asia’s diversity was systematically overlooked and its people denied their humanity. Given the vast diversity of the peoples of Asia, we affirm that the core mission of the SFS to address problems of security, equality, and prosperity can only be fulfilled by recognizing the common humanity among people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, the Asian Studies Program hereby affirms a commitment to diversity, equality, and justice in its institutional structures, research, and pedagogy.
In order to uphold this principle, the Asian Studies Program is committed to ensuring not only diverse representation across various forms of identity, but also fostering an environment that is truly inclusive of all groups and elevating a diverse chorus of voices through our curriculum. We, therefore, also commit to adopting policies within the Asian Studies Program as well as through our engagement beyond Georgetown that proactively address the systemic barriers that exclude marginalized groups from our program, school, and the broader field of Asian studies. Through the above actions, the Asian Studies Program pledges to carry out its commitment toward fostering a student body, faculty, and staff that reflects, uplifts, and celebrates the diversity of humanity in race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual identity, religion, and class.
*Statement jointly crafted by Asian Studies Program faculty and students