This message was shared with the OHSU Community March 18, 2021.
Content warning: In support of trauma-informed communications, please be aware that this message contains topics that may be activating for survivors of gender or racial violence. The Confidential Advocacy Program can be reached 24/7 by calling 833-495-2277. Additional resources for OHSU members are available here.
OHSU is saddened by the shootings that occurred in Atlanta on Tuesday. Although race or gender haven’t been identified as factors, six of the eight victims identified as Asian and seven were women. I recognize this event, in addition to an overall increase in racial violence, may be particularly difficult for OHSU members who identify as Asian American.
An increase in bias against those of Asian descent has been observed since COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China. Expressions of racism and anti-Asia bias are not rooted in facts; they are rooted in fear and misinformation. Behaviors and dialogue that fuel these biases only generate anger and hate, and cause those experiencing this stigma to feel unsafe and isolated, impacting their health and well-being.
While we process this tragedy and hold space for Asian American and Pacific Islander members of our community, I encourage the use of our wellness resources as needed. I also ask that you join me in reaffirming our commitment to becoming a trauma-informed, multi-cultural, anti-racist institution free from discrimination and harassment.
Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS