To Our Bay Area Community,
There has been an alarming increase in assaults against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) strongly condemns these racially motivated attacks.
Anti-Asian sentiment spiked across the country at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, spurred by those who promote conspiracy theories and xenophobia, and we are now seeing a disturbing resurgence. Racial violence and harassment targeting these communities has skyrocketed in recent weeks, striking some of the most vulnerable among us – seniors in the Bay Area. Tragically, an 84-year-old Thai man was fatally attacked in San Francisco and a 91-year-old man sustained grave injuries from an attack in Oakland’s Chinatown.
UCSF’s commitment to anti-racism in all its forms – against Asian, Pacific Islander, Black, Latinx, Native American, and other communities – demands that we stand up and speak out. We stand in solidarity with the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and join them in calling out these injustices and protecting one another.
We applaud President Biden’s executive order calling for greater protections for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and condemning the wave of racism and xenophobia that accompanied the pandemic.
At UCSF, we will continue our aligned work through our Anti-Racism Initiative to dismantle structural racism in support of all people of color and under-represented groups, within our UCSF community and within the communities we are privileged to serve.
We know this is a difficult and frightening time for members of the Asian and Pacific Islander community and we encourage you to seek support if you need it from your network or organizations such as the Asian Counseling and Referral Service or ACRS. To help ensure your personal safety, we are sharing guidance provided by the UCSF Police Department, including:
- Be vigilant of suspicious persons. Call 911 if you see something suspicious.
- Travel in groups whenever possible, especially at night.
- Avoid poorly-lit or deserted areas when walking at night.
- Stay alert to your surroundings; avoid headphone and cell phone use when walking or waiting alone.
- If you are walking to your car, keep your car keys easily accessible, preferably in your hand.
- If you feel you are being followed, go into an open business and ask for help.
- Keep emergency numbers pre-programmed into your cell phone.
- If you are faced with demands for your money or property, especially from an armed subject, comply with their demands in the interest of your safety.
As we work to combat racism, discrimination, and bias in our country and in our own community, we are resolved to not let these recent events demoralize us. We will, instead, work harder to look after one another as we work to bring about a more equitable and inclusive society.
Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor
Mark R. Laret
President and CEO
J. Renée Navarro, PharmD, MD
Vice Chancellor, Office of Diversity and Outreach
Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care