President’s remarks to Faculty Senate on identity-based attacks
President Marc Tessier-Lavigne made these comments at the Faculty Senate meeting on June 24, 2021.
I would like to address mounting hateful acts that we are seeing in our country, and which I have had the chance to discuss recently with campus leaders of our Jewish community and of our Muslim community.
Over the past few months, there has been a sharp rise in antisemitic acts around the country.
Synagogues have been vandalized, and people have been harassed or attacked because of their Jewish identity.
In our own Stanford community, we have heard troubling reports of social media activity and personal interactions targeting members of the Jewish community.
I want to be clear in my condemnation: Antisemitism has no place at Stanford.
There have also been troubling reports of an increase in acts motivated by Islamophobia in our country and beyond, including the recent tragic killing of four members of a Muslim family just over the border in Canada.
Let me be clear on this point too: Islamophobia, equally, has no place at Stanford.
These various incidents have left many feeling vulnerable, isolated and fearful for their safety, both on and off campus.
We strongly condemn any and all identity-based attacks, regardless of the communities from which they come or to whom they are directed. And we stand with the victims of such attacks.
In my meetings with campus leaders, I discussed how we can best support the members of our community through these difficult times.
I met with Rabbi Jessica Kirschner, executive director of Hillel at Stanford, and Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann of the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life.
I also met separately with Dr. Abiya Ahmed, the associate dean and director of the Markaz Resource Center, Dr. Rania Awaad, faculty leader of the Stanford Muslims and Mental Health Lab, and Dr. Amina Darwish of the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life.
These conversations have focused on understanding the experiences of our community members and on actions we can take to support them. We will continue to work with these leaders over the summer to chart our path forward.
This is a time to model the standard of interaction and discourse we wish to see at Stanford and beyond, and to support one another as members of the same community.