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Message from Dean Hakim in Response to the Atlanta Mass Shooting, March 2021

Dear MEZCOPH Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni, and Friends,

I sit in sorrow and solidarity with all those affected by the horrific mass shooting in Atlanta. My heart breaks for the eight precious people murdered, their families, and our friends and family of Asian descent in this country. The Asian community continues to endure increased cases of violent attacks and harassment — targets of ignorance and xenophobia. These acts of violence are absolutely repulsive and have no place in our society or within our own community; hatred and harassment targeting any individual is an attack against our global community, and it is especially disturbing when it is directed at a particular group.

History teaches us that the best defense against hate, intolerance and ignorance is a better offense of care, compassion and empathy. I encourage you to reach out to classmates, friends, neighbors, and family members of Asian descent. If you experience or witnesses any act of violence, harassment, intimidation or bias against our Asian American students and colleagues please report it immediately to the University Police at 911. As a College, we will continue to express our support of Asian Americans and of anyone who is the victim of racism, bigotry or misogyny. I implore everyone to demonstrate respect toward one another; to seek understanding rather than directing misplaced judgments to an individual or group of people. Now is the time to continue to voice our support for one another, particularly our Asian American community members.

Iman Hakim
Dean, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

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