Over the last several months, many students at the University of Washington and across the country have felt personally vulnerable as a consequence of increased incidents, including hate speech and propaganda, physical intimidation and verbal assaults aimed at disrupting their lives by making them apprehensive and fearful about the future. As members of the Department of American Ethnic Studies, we want you to know that we value the inherent dignity and uniqueness of all individuals and communities. It is for this reason that we have elected to work in a department whose mission is to cultivate intellectual and activist traditions dedicated to uprooting ignorance, domination and exclusion. We reject efforts to normalize hate under the guise of free speech or diversity of ideas, and we condemn all actions and policies aimed at sowing discord, disunity, fear, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny and racism.
For all these reasons, we want to remind you that you have every right to be who you are and to participate in the conversations we have in classrooms and across campus about such critical and highly charged subjects as race, immigration, gender, sexuality and class. We also want you to know that faculty, staff and administrators at the UW support your right to share your views in a climate that encourages our collective exploration of ways to make this an inclusive and just world for everyone.
If you ever feel that you or your exercise of these rights is threatened, please be sure to let a professor, staff member or administrator know immediately. If you find yourself in a volatile or dangerous situation in a classroom, on campus or elsewhere that requires urgent attention, immediately call 911 from any phone at your disposal. In cases where danger is not immediately evident, but you still feel threatened, you can call the UW SafeCampus number: 206-685-7233. We encourage you to put the SafeCampus number on speed dial so that you can quickly access individuals who will be able to speak with you seven days a week, 24-hours a day, and discuss any situation where you feel threatened.
Finally, if you experience any subtle or overt acts of bias or discrimination against you or someone else in a classroom or on campus that make you worry about your safety or the safety of others, we urge you to report it promptly to the university using the following link:
Please keep in mind that everyone in the Department of American Ethnic Studies stands ready to support you in any way we can as you endeavor to pursue your academic course of study in an atmosphere free of bias, prejudice, fear or concern. We’re here for you.
In recognition of what your presence means to all of us,
AES Faculty & Staff