Dear IHP Community,

Once again, I am writing to you in response to a mass shooting, this time in Monterey Park, CA at a dance club where Asian Americans were celebrating the eve of the Lunar New Year.

In these messages, I often talk about the impact of gun violence in our society or the increase in mental illness in many individuals. The motive of this shooting is unknown but what is known is this: 10 Asian Americans lost their lives on the eve of one of the most beautiful and joyous holidays in their calendar. This is a time when Asians celebrate their culture and their heritage by spending time with family, renewing their traditions, and looking to the future with the ones they love. I have had the privilege to participate in Lunar New Year celebrations in Hong Kong and know how very meaningful they are to those who are engaged.

Our hearts go out to the Asian American community, the victims, and their families as they experience the tragedy of lives lost. As authorities investigate the “why” behind this tragedy, we must recognize that this shooting comes at a time when violence against Asian Americans continues to escalate in the United States. Our Asian American siblings are increasingly feeling the pressure of discrimination and targeted violence.

For those in our community who are suffering the effects of this attack or other senseless acts of violence, there is support for you. Employees should contact the Employee Assistance Program and students can get support from the Student Assistance Program.

As always, as individuals and a community, we must condemn these acts of violence and support those who are disproportionately feeling the effects of this disturbing act. One life is too many to lose to unabated gun violence yet we continue to do the same things and believe the outcomes will change. We know they will not.