Dear Lowell Community,
Each Friday, as I leave Lowell and begin my drive home, I pass by groups of people on various corners of 16th Street holding Black Lives Matter signs. They have been there faithfully, every Friday, since last summer. People drive by, including me, honking their horns in support. Simultaneously, violence and hate speech targeting Asian Americans and other Asian and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. has been on the rise since the pandemic began. Time magazine has reported that in New York City alone, hate crimes motivated by anti-Asian sentiment increased 1,900 percent in 2020. Increasing violence against Asians and Asian-Americans in our country and our very own Lowell community have left me feeling incredible pain and loss.
Yet, I see no signs of support on corners for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, despite their struggle being one that belongs to all of us. All too often, these incidents go unreported or ignored, reinforcing a sense of invisibility that pours salt in the wound of injustice.
I write to you feeling much as I felt last June when I wrote to you following George Floyd’s death. I write with anger and sadness. We cannot ignore the hate directed toward Asians and Asian Americans in this country. We must stand in solidarity with and raise our collective concern for all people of color. We do this by showing empathy and speaking out against racism in all its forms.
To members of our Lowell community who identify as Asian or Asian American, we see you, stand with you, and stand next to you.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of our values as a school. So too is our work to prepare students to be active members of a democratic society. We teach our students to be allies and upstanders, and we teach them to be advocates and make a difference. Most importantly, we do this together, as a community, in partnership with our faculty, staff, and our Lowell families.
We will continue to fight against racism together, and we will do so with a renewed sense of urgency. A world of violence, anger, and fear is not the world we want for our children—or for ourselves.
Know that I hold you and everyone who has felt the impact of this violence and racism in my heart during this difficult time.
*For families looking for ways to engage your children in conversation or take action yourselves, I encourage you to take advantage of the following resources:
Social media to follow: