A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

SAIC Opposes Anti-Asian Hate

Dear SAIC Community,

Tragically, a gunman took the lives of eight individuals in the Atlanta area last night. Six of the victims were of Asian descent. While current reporting suggests that authorities are still determining the suspect’s motivations, the pattern of anti-Asian hate, increasingly prevalent in the United States, is saddening, maddening, and wholly objectionable. The School of Art Institute of Chicago is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment, and we oppose unlawful discrimination and violence. 

As Anti-Racism Committee Co-Chairs Delinda Collier and Jefferson Pinder recently stated in their campus-wide message, “It’s vital for us to denounce this hatred and violence and stand together to reinforce safety and solidarity wherever we can.” Their message outlines ways in which you can get involved both on campus, such as upcoming planning for May’s Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and off, including anti-racism intervention training offered by the organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, who recently announced an expanded schedule of sessions open to the public. Through actions such as these, we can build a culture that stands against racial hate.

We also contribute to that culture in how we care for one another, and SAIC offers a number of support services. Students seeking support at any time should contact Counseling Services by calling 312.499.4271; staff and faculty may contact the Employee Assistance Program directly at 800.311.4327. In addition to individual psychotherapy/counseling, Counseling Services offers a diverse set of ongoing workshops, support groups, and opportunities for all SAIC community members. Faculty may also reach out to the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Academic Affairs Jefferson Pinder at jpinder@saic.edu for support in their work, while students can reach out to Dean of Student Life Deborah Martin at dmartin@saic.edu. Anyone wishing to make a report in regard to an incident of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should reach out to Title IX Coordinator Luma Akiti at lakiti@saic.edu. Finally, students, faculty, and staff on campus who don’t want to travel alone are encouraged to use escort and SafeRide services.

Elissa Tenny