A Statement on the Atlanta-Area Attacks
All of us at Fleisher are hurt and enraged at the murder of eight people, six of whom were Asian women, in Atlanta last week. Despite the police’s hesitancy in stating it forthrightly, the murders were hate crimes committed by a white domestic terrorist. We are deeply saddened to find ourselves reflecting once again on the hate and pernicious white supremacy that mars our society. We reject those who continually fan the flames of hatred and violence, and our thoughts will remain with the families of the victims in Atlanta and with anyone persecuted because of their race or ethnicity.
Samuel Fleisher, our founder, laid the foundation for our values as an institution when he declared we would exist to benefit all people, no matter their background. For over 120 years, we persist in advancing that mission and endeavor to create safe, supportive, and creative spaces for Philadelphia’s diverse and dynamic communities.
As the languages that fill our hallways demonstrate, many of Fleisher’s students, particularly young artists, proudly identify with the city’s diverse Asian communities, including Chinese, Korean, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. Many of our closest partners and colleagues provide essential services to Philadelphia’s Asian and Asian American neighborhoods, and we are honored to be invited to foster creativity in these communities. As artists, we celebrate diversity and recognize that the most meaningful art often emerges from a deep respect for the beauty of different cultural practices. Attempts at erasure and threats of violence have no merit.
Today, we share this message to reaffirm Fleisher’s commitment to working in solidarity with those who challenge violence and oppression, and strive for needed systemic change. We continue to self-examine our own systems to root out the lingering vestiges of white supremacy as we strive for a more inclusive creative community. We pledge to continue learning from, growing with, and supporting our Asian and Asian American students, neighbors, friends, and colleagues.
Our thoughts are with the victims and their families:
Soon C. Park
Hyun J. Grant
Yong A. Hue
Delaina Ashley Yaun
Paul Andre Michels
We hope that you will learn more about the artists and activists at VietLead, Modero & Co, Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, Asian Arts Initiative, Laos in the House, and SEAMAAC and support their critical work.
We encourage you to review the following resources to donate, learn, and take action against anti-Asian violence assembled by our colleagues at Asian Arts Initiative, The Philadelphia Citizen, and Generocity.