Messages from the President

Standing With our Asian and Asian American Communities

Standing With our Asian and Asian American Communities

Dear UMPI Community,

When COVID-19 changed life on our campus, in our families and communities, and all across the United States just over a year ago, the Asian and Pacific Islander communities came under unfair attack, suffering hate crimes and bias incidents across the country.  This was encouraged by misinformation and bigotry.  In recent weeks, we have again witnessed an increase in violent attacks on Asians and Asian Americans in our country, particularly upon women and elders.  Such acts continue to escalate.  The horrific news of the mass shootings in Atlanta on Tuesday night was but potentially one of over 3,800 hate incidents directed against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders in America during this pandemic.

These are not isolated events; tragically, they are occurring in Maine as well, as recent news reports from Portland have illustrated. Just yesterday, community leaders across Maine spoke out against the discrimination members of their community have called out for support, reassurance, and action.

I write today of our unwavering support for the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander members of our community and of our rejection, as a community, of acts and expressions of racism, bigotry, and intolerance.  Solidarity in this belief must always be the heart and soul of any educational community.

There are a number of resources that can provide support during this period, including the office of Student Support Services (768-9732, ; our Associate Dean of Students (768-9518, ; and counseling through Ralph McPherson (768-9791;  We also know that our own community is not immune to the expressions of bias we are witnessing across our nation.  If you feel you have experienced any form of harassment or discrimination, UMPI’s Human Resources provides Equal Opportunity resources and support (768-9462; .

My thanks to all of you for joining me in ensuring that threats against any members of our community will not be tolerated.