In her Wednesday email, Pollack pointed out that six victims were Asian women and discussed the pandemic’s influence on increasing hate crimes aimed at the Asian population.
Since March 2020, when Tompkins County confirmed its first case of COVID-19, Ithaca officials such as Mayor Svante Myrick and the Tompkins County Office of Human Rights have condemned the rise of prejudice and hate crimes towards Asians and Asian Americans.
Last March, Shawn Ong grad was stabbed near the intersection of West Avenue and South Avenue in an attempted robbery. Although the Ithaca Police Department could not confirm that this incident was bias related, Ong believed his attack could have been racially motivated.
“It is intolerable that these communities have experienced acts of racism, violence and hatred. As a campus community, we denounce these vile acts and stand firmly with our Asian and Asian American friends and colleagues,” Pollack wrote in her email.
Pollack directed Cornellians in associated communities to the Asian and Asian American Center and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program for further resources and support. Additionally, Pollack encouraged Cornell students and professors to report bias incidents.
The wider Ithaca community can also report bias incidents to the Ithaca Asian American Association, a local civic organization.