Nationwide Violence Toward Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

WOU sign at the front of campus, glossy black with gold lettering, greenery behind it. Campus appears wet from rain.

Updated: March 24, 2022

Dear WOU community,

One year has passed since the Atlanta spa shootings and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has continued. We categorically stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander WOU community members. As violent incidents continue to occur across the country, Western Oregon University denounces all violence, particularly violence driven by hate. Our stated value of diversity and respect still stands.  At WOU, our practices must always be guided by building a community that demonstrating a “trustworthy, caring, safe environment for the cultivation of peace, civility and social justice.”

We will always support and encourage those in the WOU community who speak out about incidents of hate or violence. We will always honor our commitment to listen and do the hard work necessary to change the system. If you experience or witness an incident of bias, please use the WOU bias incident report form to report it. Once received, this form is distributed to the appropriate campus group or department to act. Most bias forms are submitted anonymously, so following up with the original submitter is not possible. Just know that we act on all reports regardless of whether it is submitted anonymously.

To honor our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we are currently completing the hire for an Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We are confident that the new Executive Director will help us put in place the infrastructure and outreach needed to ensure WOU is a safe place for everyone who works, attends or visits here and that our goal of a culturally competent community is achieved.

Our voices together and actions combined can cause positive change toward our goals of greater equality and inclusivity. In addition, we applaud the many departments and individuals across campus who have engaged in trainings and discussions to increase their cultural competency.

In solidarity,

Jay Kenton, Interim President

Rob Winningham, Provost

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