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A Message from President Benson: Condemning Racist Violence, Harassment

Dear UT Dallas community:

Our nation is experiencing a rise in racist attacks against people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent, which has prompted the issuing of a federal memorandum condemning such intolerance. The attacks have been fueled by hateful rhetoric that ignorantly blames people of Asian descent for the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the safety and security of many families, communities and businesses have been threatened because of hostile attitudes.

I am all too aware that xenophobia is often coupled with discriminatory practices. I condemn the inflammatory language that targets Asian communities and incites violent attacks.

My personal goals align with the goals of our institution, which include the prioritization of diversity, equity and inclusion, and to do the work necessary to promote social justice and combat racism. Our updated strategic plan will include additional initiatives in support of these aims.

Our University has a long history of welcoming people from around the world. We are committed to providing a campus culture that respects all people, regardless of nationality, race, religion, ethnic origin, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.

With the help of our faculty and staff, we will continue to develop programming and curricula that are diverse and inclusive and provide education for our entire community in support of our ideals.

I am especially proud of the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas, the Center for Asian Studies and other UTD centers in highlighting the many vital contributions made to our society by our friends and colleagues of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. They deserve our thanks, not our ill will.

Our work is not done. We will diligently do our best to address bias in its many forms and to provide resources and support in pursuit of an inclusive environment. Please join me in this important effort.

Finally, discriminatory actions will not be tolerated. I urge anyone witnessing such activity to report it to our Office of Institutional Compliance, Equity, and Title IX Initiatives through the ethics and compliance hotline.

Thank you for all you do to help UT Dallas achieve its ideals as a supportive, welcoming environment for all who have chosen to become part of our community.

Sincerely,
Richard C. Benson signature
Dr. Richard C. Benson
President
Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu.

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