Expressing Solidarity as We Head Into the Lunar New Year

A message from David Faigman and Jenny Kwon:

Dear UC Hastings Community,

As many of you know, Lunar New Year is traditionally a time for many of Asian descent to leave behind the challenges of a year gone by and turn their focus to new beginnings with family and loved ones. Since the start of the pandemic, and more urgently over the last few weeks, we have been aghast and disheartened by a surge in hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans in the Bay Area and across the nation. Such offenses are all the more unjust given that Asians and Asian Americans, alongside other communities of color, have suffered disproportionately higher rates of unemployment and assumed more risk as essential workers during the pandemic.

We want to state clearly and unequivocally our support of the Asian and Asian American community, as well as our opposition to these and all racially motivated hate crimes. Although this contemptible surge of violence has occurred outside of the UC Hastings community, we recognize that hearing about, witnessing, and experiencing such hate incidents may impact our peers and colleagues.

Over the 18 months we have worked together, the two of us have talked often about the state of the nation and the various social challenges we face, particularly those of racial significance. We have shared how our identities as a white man and Asian American woman shape our experiences. We commit to doing our own work, both professionally and personally, to listen to and understand the needs and concerns of our diverse community.

Thank you for showing expressions of solidarity and support during these times of division. Thank you too for all the outreach and conversations around difficult topics over the last year, especially around injustices that we do not want replicated at UC Hastings.

The year of the Metal Ox signifies determination, hard work, and a time for movement and change. That seems apt for the times we are in. As we mark this next new moon, let us strive to show each other compassion and engage with one another with civility, even across our differences. In a time when division and quick reactions to differences can seem to be the norm, we must all do our part to counter that narrative. Let us show each other that we can passionately debate across differences with respect. Let us also continue to stand up alongside our peers and colleagues against all manifestations of ignorance and bigotry.

As a reminder, if needed, students can access mental health support services through Carbon Health at no charge. Faculty and staff can seek counseling services available through our Employee Assistance Program. Do not hesitate to report (anonymously or not) any hate or bias incidents through our discrimination complaint form or our Comment Boxes on MyHastings. And as always, feel free to sign up for Office Hours with the Chancellor & Dean online.

Wishing you fortune, happiness, and health in the new year,

David and Jenny

Chancellor and Dean David L. Faigman
Assistant Chancellor and Dean/Chief of Staff Jenny S. Kwon