MCB statement on solidarity with Asian American communities

Dear Members of the MCB Community:

We are all shocked, saddened, disappointed, and angered by the shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead. These killings are part of a rise in hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans.

The MCB community stands together in denouncing this senseless act, and all acts of hate against Asians and Asian Americans, just as we denounce all acts of intolerance and hate within and outside our MCB community. We stand in solidarity with our Asian and Asian American colleagues against the forces of intolerance and hate, just as we stand in solidarity with all members of our community who face hate or intolerance.

To be clear, all are welcome here. MCB is a community of scholars with the shared goal of understanding the foundations of life itself. We come from diverse backgrounds. Many of us have traveled far and even crossed oceans to be here so that we can work together. Many of us have traveled far from our beginnings or backgrounds where science seemed an unlikely pursuit. We stand together. We recognize that everybody in MCB wants to be here for the same overall goal. One of the great strengths of our program is its diversity. The School of MCB affirms our commitment to our principle that all are welcome here.

Inclusion requires continuous reinforcement. This isn’t just about sensitivity or hurt feelings; this is about hate. And that can make people feel not only underappreciated or unwanted, it can make them feel scared.

Maybe today is a good day to make your colleagues feel welcome here. Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, suggested in The New York Times that the path to healing often begins with three simple words: Are you OK? Perhaps that simple question, asked in earnest, can help everyone in our MCB community feel welcome here; and it might serve as a simple starting point for understanding, tolerance, respect, and love to stand against intolerance, hate, and violence.

Please find below some university resources:

The Counseling Center, for resources if people need to talk.

The Bias Assessment Response Team, if someone experiences an incident of bias, no matter how small or large.

• Information from the UIUC Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations

• Additionally, the Asian American Cultural Center will be hosting a workshop on how to intervene to stop anti-Asian American harassment and xenophobia..

From the MCB Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee with thanks to Bill Brieher, Supriya Prasanth, and the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology for the original statement.

March 22, 2021 All News