Addressing hate with healing, allyship, and action

| April 19, 2021

Note: This letter originally appeared as an email sent to the Hopkins community on April 19, 2021.

Dear Johns Hopkins community,

Over the past 13 months, as we have struggled and persevered through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, far too many people around the world, nationally, and locally have been the target of reprehensible expressions of hate and acts of violence. This trauma has unfolded in many forms, from the rise in recent and ongoing horrific attacks against Asians and Asian Americans, to the symbols of racism and anti-Semitism brandished threateningly during January’s Capitol insurrection, to the discrimination and harm directed toward transgender people, and the enduring pain and fear borne by our Black and Latinx communities who are disproportionately the victims of racial violence. We were sadly reminded of this again last week when yet another young Black person was killed by police in Minneapolis, even as the trial unfolds of the officer accused of killing George Floyd less than a year ago.

We have heard from many of you who are feeling the burden and the challenge of processing these events, and who are seeking ways to ensure your own safety and well-being as well as that of your families, colleagues, and friends during this time. We have heard, too, from those of you hoping to be more effective allies and supporters, and from those looking to take individual and collective action to address the impact of these events and effect change.

In the spirit of providing such an opportunity for healing, allyship, and action, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is hosting Addressing Hate During COVID-19a conversation about the impact of national incidents of hate and violence and about actions that we can take to support members of our community should incidents occur on our campuses. The event will take place on Friday, April 23, at 11 a.m., and will be a university-wide conversation facilitated by Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Katrina Caldwell and other colleagues across our divisions. This gathering, the first in our newly created Bearing Witness series, will offer a space for participants to reflect and engage with one another. Information on how to participate is here. We hope you’ll join us.

We also wish to remind you of the university resources available to all members of our community who require support or who themselves have experienced any kind of discrimination or harassment. These include:

  • Mental health and well-being support for our students at wellness.jhu.edu and here for specific racial trauma resources and for our staff through MySupport
  • Our Office of Institutional Equity, which serves our students, faculty, and staff in hearing and addressing complaints of discrimination and harassment.

We recognize that this year has and will continue to test our community members, so we hope that this will be a moment for us to hear from you about the ways we can work together to build pathways for each of you to share what we can do to support you.

Thank you for your commitment to creating a world in which everyone can find safety, justice, and humanity.

Sincerely,

Katrina Caldwell
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

Heidi Conway
Vice President for Human Resources

Kevin Shollenberger
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being