February 2, 2023 Letter to the Community

We at BU Diversity & Inclusion have been shocked and saddened by the many recent instances of violence in and perpetrated against marginalized communities in the U.S.

The Lunar New Year marks a celebration of family, prosperity, traditions, and renewal for Asian communities around the world. For Asian Americans nationwide, that celebration was shattered after a mass shooting on January 21, 2023 took the lives of 11 people at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California. Monterey Park holds historical and cultural significance for many Asian Americans. A city east of Los Angeles with a population that is 65% Asian, Monterey Park is considered the first suburban Chinatown in the U.S.

We mourn alongside students, staff, and faculty of Asian descent in our community. We remember the lives taken — Mymy Nhan, 65; Xiujuan Yu, 57; Hongying Jian, 62; Yu Lun Kao, 72; Valentino Marcos Alvero, 68; Wen Tau Yu, 64; Ming Wei Ma, 72; Diana Man Ling Tom, 70; Muoi Dai Ung, 67; Chia Ling Yau, 76; and Lilian Li, 63. We hope for the recovery of those injured in this devastating attack and we stand with all of the survivors and loved ones who have been affected.

Only a few days following this tragedy and on the eve of Black History Month, the Memphis Police Department released deeply upsetting video footage of Tyre Nichols’ fatal encounter with law enforcement officers. We understand the fear, trauma, anger, and sadness this video undoubtedly elicits. This incident is another example of the impact of ongoing systemic racism and how it affects communities of color across the country. Nichols was a 29-year-old father, skateboarder, and photographer who wrote on his website, “Photography helps me look at the world in a more creative way. It expresses me in ways I cannot write down for people.” We also mourn the loss of a man whose friends describe him as joyful and loveable.

We hope everyone on campus can grow to better support our fellow community members. We truly believe in the power of community and connection in times of strife.

If you are in need of support, here are a few resources on and off campus that may help:


University Support Offices at BU:

For Faculty & Staff:  

    • The Faculty & Staff of Color Community Network will be holding space for faculty and staff members on February 4 at 11:30 am as part of the network’s First Friday Conversations — Click here to join.
    • Faculty & Staff Assistance Office (617) 353-5381), with locations on the Charles River Campus (888 Commonwealth Ave, Suite 309) and Medical Campus (85 E. Newton Street, Suite 818b), has licensed behavioral health providers on hand for free and confidential consultation, short-term counseling, and referrals to community resources for a wide range of personal and work-related challenges. The office has also posted these resources for coping with mass shootings, including how to talk with young children about gun violence. 

    Individual Learning: