Dear Cornish Community,
Less than a year ago, I wrote to you to share my pain and bewilderment regarding the never-ending hatred and consequential atrocities, and injustices African-Americans have endured in this country. The immediate reactions of the masses of the national and international communities to the murder of George Floyd generated for me a feeling of hope that humanity was now courageous enough to stop being tolerant of the thriving history of hatred against Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Nevertheless, today I am saddened that similar atrocities are continuing. There has been an increase of more than 143% in violent hate crimes since 2020, especially against the elderly, and in the wake of the rise since the beginning of the pandemic. Only five days ago, eight Americans, six of whom were Asian-Americans, fell victim to the ongoing threat of the results of racism and xenophobia. Although the authorities have not charged the perpetrator’s action as hate crimes, it is complicated, if not impossible, to deny that race was not a significant factor. The work of anti-racism continues!!!
As an institution that appreciates and values humanity, it is more important than ever that we as artists and creatives be fully engaged in the struggle against bigotry and hatred in any form. Cornish College of the Arts must do the work of dismantling the patterns of racism, xenophobia, classism, sexism, and all other “isms” that lead primarily to a disregard and dis-valuation of humanity. Everyone in the Cornish community must feel safe and that their dignity is esteemed. The sense of belonging and respect is the responsibility of every citizen of the Cornish community. I expect every one of this community to interrupt instances of racism and intolerance and report such behaviors to authorities. I encourage each student, faculty, and staff member to embrace our core values of inclusion and respect. We are a strong community, and by working together with empathy, humanity, and support for each other, we can realize a more robust and more welcoming Cornish. I am relying on all of us to do our part to make the world we live in a better place.
Raymond Tymas-Jones, Ph.D.