Statement on Atlanta Mass Shootings

Dear BC Community,

Like our entire campus community, I am shocked and saddened by the mass shootings yesterday in Atlanta that took the lives of eight people, six of whom were Asian women.

While local police believe it is too early to know with certainty that these murders were racially motivated, the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian American people across the country only further heightens the fear and danger that our AAPI communities, here on campus and throughout our region, are experiencing.

Bellevue College is steadfastly committed to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for BIPOC and other marginalized communities. Hate crimes or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. If you experience or become aware of a bias incident or hate crime, I urge you to report it here.

As I shared in my email last Friday, we must all join together to acknowledge and confront the vicious hate that targets, suppresses and harms members of our Asian community and BIPOC communities as a whole. Violence against one community struggling against racism and hate is violence against all targeted communities.

Sadly, this struggle is ongoing. It is exhausting. And it disrupts the emotional equilibrium we all work hard to maintain as we try to go about our daily lives. If you need support to cope with the distress caused by the escalation of hate crimes, please reach out for help. Students can contact our Counseling Center, and faculty and staff can contact the Employee Assistance Program which offers free and confidential counseling.

Gary Locke Interim President

Last Updated March 17, 2021