Our statement on racism against Asians, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders

The following statement was emailed to the College of the Arts students, faculty and community members on March 19, 2021.

In the wake of the horrific murders in Georgia this week, I want to express my deep sadness and revulsion toward these abhorrent acts of violence against Asians, Asian Americans and women. As we learn about the events and process what they tell us about privilege, racial bias and hatred, misogyny and other complex issues, I want to reiterate the College of the Arts’ commitment to calling out and stamping out racism and inequity in all its forms—within the College, on our campus and in the broader community. 

Members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community have experienced systemic and individual acts of racism, both subtle and overt, for centuries. Adding hurt to this injustice is the fact that we as a society are often slow to acknowledge these incidents as being fueled by racism. We in the College of the Arts stand with our AAPI students, faculty and community members. We share your pain and pledge our solidarity in working to eradicate hatred and bias against those of Asian descent.

These events are grim reminders that the work of anti-racism, though complicated, is imperative. It requires unceasing dedication and a firm commitment to self-examination at all levels. We must continue to recognize that racism and bias comes in many guises, often within ourselves, and we must persist in unearthing our own hidden or not-so-hidden biases and calling out the biases we see in others. As always, if you observe or experience any acts of racism or bias, please report them to the university’s Bias Review Team so that we can work together to address these wrongs and make our community safe and welcoming for all.


Leroy E. Bynum, Jr., DMA
Dean & Professor of Voice and Opera  
College of the Arts
Portland State University