March 29, 2021

An Open Letter of Inclusion and Healing

The Columbia Alumni Association of Boston (CAAB) and its board of directors stand with our communities and colleagues in the Asian Columbia Alumni Association (ACAA).

We remember and mourn the eight victims of the Atlanta shootings, six of whom were of Asian descent. We also grieve for all the victims of anti-Asian violence across the country. These acts, together with the recent shootings in Boulder, Colorado, serve as frightening evidence of senseless violence by people who have little regard for human life. Our hearts go out to the families of all the victims and to the communities that have been visited by these acts.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has faced a long history of verbal harassment, physical assault, online harassment and civil rights violations. Recent discriminatory rhetoric regarding the origins of COVID-19 has resulted in an alarming rise in unprovoked attacks on members of the AAPI community. We condemn intolerance and racially-based hate crimes exemplified by the substantial increase in anti-Asian hate crimes the past year.

It is my hope that we can heal through the amelioration of COVID-19's ravages. I wish for the health, safety and happiness of our membership and broader alumni communities. From June 1st of 2020 to July 1st of 2020, I directed our board to limit communications and events in observance of the ongoing impact to our communities.  Our first event, thereafter was our Happy Cleaners Movie Night, a film produced by a Columbia alumnus about the experience of a Korean American immigrant family.

The Board promises to foster an environment where ideas and experiences can be openly shared in a safe space in which we can debate ideas respectfully and constructively. In this space we will not be exposed to discrimination, personal criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm. 

ACAA has vowed to continue its support for the Columbia Asian community, and they recognize American strength is rooted in its history of diversity. CAAB joins them as allies in the effort to fight racial discrimination and systemic bias against the AAPI community and all people of color. 

Leonard Robinson,
President, CAA Boston

The mission of the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) is to cultivate a uniquely Columbia environment in which diverse, impactful opportunities inspire students and alumni to engage, exchange, and experience the lifelong benefits of our Columbia Community.

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