Statement in support of Asian and Asian American communities

Dear SESE Community,

In light of recent events, I would like to offer the following statement on behalf of the SESE Leadership and the SESE Justice-Equity-Diversity-Inclusion Task Force:

We, along with the broader ASU community (as articulated in the statement last week by President Crow), denounce the recent murders and violence toward Asian and Asian American communities and state our commitment to the health, safety, well-being, and prosperity of our Asian and Asian American students, staff, researchers, and faculty, as well as those of all other Asian and Asian American people in our communities and beyond. 

In addition to the recent murders in Atlanta, there is a long history of anti-Asian discrimination, as well as an overall acceleration in anti-Asian racism and violence in the US, with more than 3,000 incidents reported in that last year, including 43 in Arizona. The actual numbers of these events are likely much higher. For example, research at University of Arizona recently documented more than 34 similar cases of both indirect and direct anti-Asian discrimination among their student body in the last year. ASU and SESE have no tolerance for such behaviors. These troubling statistics remind us that we must recommit to reaching for higher levels of understanding and be proactive in addressing xenophobia, misogyny, and racism in our communities, in the same way that we are committed to discovery and exploration in Earth and space science. This commitment aligns with the efforts in our forthcoming Justice-Equity-Diversity-Inclusion Strategic Plan, in which we commit to holding regular SESE training and discussions around implicit bias, intersectionality, and bystander intervention strategies, in addition to creating a SESE Code of Conduct within the next year. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the SESE Leadership and/or the SESE Justice-Equity-Diversity-Inclusion Task Force about any specific concerns you may have about anti-Asian discrimination or other types of discrimination within SESE.

These events have undoubtedly produced trauma, sadness, anxiety, and panic for many of us. If you are or have been hurting, you are not alone. Whether it be counseling services, peers, mentors, friends, or loved ones, please take the time to reach out and get any assistance you need to get through this difficult time. 

Here are some SESE and ASU resources and opportunities to connect and seek support:

  • Connect with Asian and Asian American associations and cultural groups here.
  • ASU Counseling Services, which are available 7 days a week. 
  • Office Hours with SESE Director Wadhwa, Fridays from 8-10 AM MST by appointment (email Camelia.Skiba@ASU.EDU).
  • Office Hours with SESE Associate Director of Graduate Initiatives, Hilairy Hartnett, Fridays from 9:30-10:30 AM MST (
  • Office Hours with SESE Associate Director for an Inclusive Community, Christy Till, Thursdays from 3-4 PM MST (
  • Get some comfort and distraction during Reali-TEA and Kittens, Thursdays 3-3:30 PM MST (karen.knierman@ASU.EDU)
  • Join us at our next SESE community Conversation, March 25th from 12-1 PM MST (look for email to seseall listserve with link). 

Please know that we are here to support all members of our community in this challenging time.


Meenakshi Wadhwa

Director and Foundation Professor