Commemorative Months for May

Dear BC Community,

This May, Bellevue College joins other colleges in celebrating both Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month. To our AAPI and Jewish colleagues, students, family members and friends, please know that we value your contributions to our community and nation.

I encourage everyone to explore and learn more about the rich history, traditions, and knowledge offered by the AAPI and Jewish communities. The Asian Pacific Islander Student Association (APISA) has put together an amazing lineup of events throughout the month, and the Library Media Center has assembled a virtual display with links to books, museums with virtual exhibits, online media and other resources.

The Washington State Jewish Historical Society offers a digital museum that serves to preserve the stories, lives, memories, and events that have shaped Jewish life in Washington State. And the Holocaust Center for Humanity based in Seattle offers online events and exhibits to teach the lessons of the Holocaust and inspire students of all ages to confront bigotry, intolerance, and indifference.

It’s also important to acknowledge the disturbing rise in hate and discrimination against AAPI and Jewish individuals, businesses and groups.* We can respond with solidarity, and support.

At a recent ‘Stop AAPI Hate’ rally in Seattle, I was greatly heartened to see people of all ages and backgrounds carrying “Hate is a Virus” signs. And in March following the Atlanta mass shootings that took the lives of Asian women, the Bellevue College Chaverim sent a message of love and support that, “We will not be silent in the face of hate crimes and rising dangers to the Asian community.”

Celebrating our diversity and recognizing that America’s strength and greatness comes from this diversity of peoples and cultures are critical to combating hate and discrimination. Thank you for enriching our BC community and contributing to our inclusive campus.

Gary Locke

Interim President

* Data sources

  • California State University released a study that found in 2020 there was a 150% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in major U.S. cities.
  • The group Stop AAPI Hate found nearly 3,800 self-reported cases of hate incidents against Asian Americans in the U.S. throughout the pandemic — from March 19, 2020, through Feb. 8 of this year.
  • 2019 marked the highest rate of antisemitic incidents since the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) started reporting the statistics.
  • The FBI released a 2019 report noting that 60% of hate crimes based on religion are committed against Jews.
  • In 2020, the ADL Pacific Northwest reported that Washington hate crimes were at their highest level ever, and the 3rd highest in the country.

Last Updated May 13, 2021