Division News & Statements

Statement from President Mantella on Tragedy in Atlanta-Area

March 17, 2021

Dear Laker Community,

Yesterday, shootings in the Atlanta-area led to the murder of eight people, including six women of Asian descent. Grand Valley State University mourns the loss of life and stands with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities during this unsettling time.

While the man charged with the murder denies racial motivation, the AAPI communities have been increasingly impacted by threats, intimidation, assaults, injuries and death over the past year. According to Stop AAPI Hate, more than 2,800 incidents of racism and discrimination against AAPI community members across the country were reported between March and December 2020.

Anti-Asian violence and acts of racism in all of its forms must stop. We condemn these acts as reprehensible and contrary to the values of our university and society. Each member of our community has a responsibility to interrupt intolerance and address hate when it shows up as acts of intimidation and violence.

We are committed to each member of our community and their well-being. The University Counseling Center offers support for students experiencing overwhelming emotions following a tragic event and the Human Resources Office provides a number of resources for employees. The Division of Inclusion and Equity is also available for support – call (616) 331-3296 or email [email protected]

As a Laker community, please continue to care for each other in tragic moments like these and at all times.


Philomena V. Mantella

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Page last modified March 17, 2021