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President Crossman Addresses Xenophobia and Injustice Related to the Coronavirus Crisis

University News | 01.31.20

Adler University President Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D., encourages reflection and activism during the emerging coronavirus (Wuhan 2019-nCoV) health crisis “to speak up and act up early to interrupt injustice” in a message to Adler University students, faculty, and staff.

Global scares like this are often accompanied by a concomitant rise in xenophobia, hate speech, and hate crimes. Unfortunately, this is happening now. Many Asian Americans and Asian Canadians have begun to be confronted with fear and anger as they are baselessly tied to the epidemic. Reports are beginning to come in from all over the world about similar actions.

This is the beginning of a health crisis, and although we don’t yet know the scope of the public health emergency, I fear that the xenophobia, hate speech, and hate crimes may get worse. Many of us remember this scapegoating pattern from far too many health crises of the past. Understandable fear that becomes translated into oppression has happened too many times for us not to decry these early signs of ugly behavior. I believe it’s important to speak up and act up early to interrupt injustice.

Adlerians: Speak out – act up! Adler University is committed to the health of all our communities, and we condemn xenophobia. As we read in our guiding document on socially responsible practice, A Movement for Justice, together at our university retreat earlier this week, we confront and resist oppression, and it’s up to you to decide how.

Many of us across our three campuses have family and colleagues in nations increasingly experiencing the effects of Wuhan 2019-nCoV. First cases have also been confirmed in Chicago and British Columbia. We stand in support of those whose lives are, and will become, touched by the crisis. I invite you to reflect, collaborate, and respond across the crisis.

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