Dear AEESP Members,
We were saddened to hear again of violent acts perpetrated against people because of their identity, this time at the Atlanta Day Spas on Tuesday night. This terrible incident adds to numerous instances over the past year of intolerance towards individuals of Asian descent that have been heightened by incorrect associations with COVID-19. Many of our organization’s members may be feeling traumatized by these events. This time of tragedy is a reminder that we all must continue to provide a safe, equitable, fair and inclusive environment for everyone that we meet and interact with on a daily basis. We encourage each of our Members to be an ally.
As an ally, please listen to what marginalized people are saying face-to face, on your social media feed or in the articles you read. It’s not about you, your feelings or opinions; it’s about hearing theirs. As an ally, consider reading books, articles, films, etc. about the history and current issues facing marginalized communities. Consider joining local groups working for social justice. Subscribe to their e-mail lists and think about following them on social media. As an ally, when you encounter something that makes you uncomfortable, don’t dismiss it. Ask yourself ‘why?’ and welcome it as an opportunity to grow. There will be times that you will make a mistake. When someone calls you out, don’t get defensive. Listen, apologize and change your behavior going forward. It is our hope that if you try to be an ally and be truly inclusive, our communities will be a welcoming place to work, play and live.
Joel Ducoste, President
Bill Arnold, President-Elect
Allison MacKay, Vice President