Dear Wellington Community,
On Tuesday, March 16, during the first week of our spring break, a shooting occurred in Atlanta, Georgia. Eight people were killed and six of those individuals were Asian American. This year, there has been a rising number of hate crimes, racist language, and violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) people, particularly elders. In the last year, there have been almost 3,800 reported attacks of anti-Asian violence. All forms of hate and oppression are unacceptable in our country and in our community. Today, we stand firm in our commitment to equity, inclusion and social justice and in support of our AAPI students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community.
Today and always, we are leaning into what community means. Whether your family is learning from home or on campus, the Wellington faculty and staff are activating a network of support for our students. Across the school, teachers, advisors, and affinity group leaders are connecting to create space to process, ask questions, learn, and respond. As we come together to support our student community, we are encouraged by the leadership we are seeing from students who are initiating these important conversations independently and taking actions for positive change.
One example of such leadership is from the middle school student affinity group called A Foot in 2 Places (AF2P), who are actively sharing understanding, opportunities to engage in this work, and holding space for their peers. Annika, an AF2P student leader, shared during a middle school morning meeting announcement, “Before spring break, we wrote a letter to 10TV Eyewitness news because we want them to know about anti-Asian violence around the world. There have been harmful false things said about Asians connecting them to coronavirus. We made them aware of the violence happening around Lunar New Year. We were urging 10TV to cover this more because it hasn’t made the local news.”
We recognize that some students may feel concerned about these events. The Wellington counseling faculty are always available to support your student and family. You can contact our counselors here.
We encourage you to engage in courageous conversations with your student about what they might be thinking and feeling. As with so many of the heavy events over the last year, we want to support and encourage you in these challenging times. You can find a list of resources below to support your conversation and understanding:
- NBC News assembled anti-racism resources to support the Asian American, Pacific Islander community.
- The Stop AAPI Hate website has resources and safety information in multiple languages.
- “Responding to Anti-Asian Violence and Georgia Shootings” from Learning for Justice will provide more information about recent events.
- “Talking to Children and Youth about Racism and Associated Violence” on the Children’s Institute website may be particularly helpful to families with younger children.
- “When Bad Things Are Happening,” published by Learning for Justice
- “Addressing anti-Asian racism with students,” from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, is aimed at teachers, but we think parents and caregivers may also find it useful.
In addition, we would like to recommend a list of AAPI-relevant books and documentaries that help increase understanding. You can find that list below.
As we reflect on our responsibility to each other, we remain hopeful and focused on our mission to help students find their purpose and realize their potential for tomorrow's world through the lens of our shared values.
To our students, please know you are not alone, and you matter so much. We stand together with you as a community.
Dr. Jeff Terwin, Head of School
Ted Manley P '21 '24, Board Chair
Book recommendations for kids:
- Grandfather’s Journey
- I Dream of Popo
- Eyes That Kiss in the Corners
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
- The House Baba Built
- American Born Chinese
- Paper Son
- The Best We Could Do
- They Called Us Enemy
- The Arrival
- Awesome Asian Americans
- Asian-Americans Who Inspire Us
Book recommendations for upper school students and adults:
- Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
- Interior Chinatown
- The Making of Asian America
- America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States
- Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad
- The Chinese in America: A Narrative History
- Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People
- Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans
- Strangers From a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans
- The Asian American Achievement Paradox
- The Color of Success
- Ambitious and Anxious: How Chinese College Students Succeed and Struggle in American Higher Education
- The Souls of Yellow Folk
- Eat a Peach: A Memoir
- The Fortune Cookie Chronicles
- PBS: Asian American (film series)