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West Hartford Board of Education and Town Council Issue Joint Statement Against AAPI Racism and Violence

West Hartford Town Hall. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Board of Education and the West Hartford Town Council issued the following statement Thursday against AAPI Racism and Violence.

Submitted

We, the West Hartford Town Council and the West Hartford Board of Education, stand together to voice our unwavering support for our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members. We denounce the anti-Asian sentiment and acts of hate and violence that we have seen grow in volume and impact, since the first cases of Covid-19 were reported in the United States in January 2020. 

Hurtful words and rhetoric have real life consequences. Over the last year, the AAPI community has endured relentless attacks on their identities. This has led to a clear and undeniable increase in reported violence, including the recent attacks in Atlanta. History has proven that when an entire racial group or ethnicity is targeted after a negative event (e.g. the internment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor or anti-Muslim sentiment following 9/11), that that culture is impacted for generations. 

All leaders must speak out forcefully against attacks motivated by animus and must prioritize countering all hate. 

We are a proactive community. It’s our town culture, and we have seen evidence of this over the past year as we have made intentional strides to be more overt in our identification of racial injustice and more intentional in our responses to it. 

We saw many special efforts during the beginning of the pandemic, such as those to support our AAPI business and restaurant owners and to develop social-emotional learning curricula to help students process the intensity of the racial and Covid-related trauma they absorbed over the spring and summer. Our town declared racism as a public health crisis and commits to fighting racism. Our schools continue to enrich their curricula and work on developing a more robust educational equity policy.

As leaders of West Hartford, we are committed to identifying and dismantling systemic elements of racism within our purview. We encourage all of our town residents to join us in these efforts. Let’s help each other rise to the challenge of actively opposing racism and hate against Asians, all people of color, and all marginalized groups, so we can create a safer and more culturally enriched community in which to live, work, and play. 

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