Dean Datar on the shootings in Atlanta and violence against Asian Americans

Throughout the day, details of last night’s tragic shootings in Atlanta have been coming into sharper focus. While the motivations of the gunman will take time to fully understand, the brutal reality already is painfully clear: seven women, including six Asian American women, are dead, as is one man. There has been a string of violent acts against Asian Americans in the United States—by one report, as many as 3,800 incidents in the last year alone. Women, and especially women of color, are disproportionately the victims of these types of violent acts.

We cannot look upon these facts with anything other than indignation and horror. The assaults and attacks on individuals in this country, many in response to the labeling of the coronavirus as a China virus, make real the consequences of prejudice and fear-mongering.

Let there be no doubt: Harvard Business School condemns racist actions and hateful words. Our community values, including respect for the rights and dignity of others, are a commitment we make to one another. Everyone bears the responsibility to uphold them.

At this difficult time, I would ask that you be present—today and in the coming days—for your friends, colleagues, and co-workers, including those who are Asian American and Pacific Islander, who may be struggling.

Let’s ensure that we support one another and find common voice in decrying acts of racism and hate.

This message was distributed to the Harvard Business School community.