Message to the Physics Community on the Shootings in Georgia

Categories: Community Emails

Dear Physics, Faculty, and Staff,

This week, after a year of increasing anti-Asian expressions of hate and violence, came the awful news from Atlanta that several people, including six Asian women, had been murdered by a young man for unfathomable reasons. 

Valued members of our community – students, faculty, and staff – are now feeling fear, anxiety, and isolation, on top of all the pandemic induced stresses.  I wan to acknowledge that being made to feel this way is horrible.  I want to assure you that the Physics Department stands with ALL of its members, and that we completely reject the prejudice and hatred that have caused these senseless deaths.  A single individual may have pulled the trigger, these deaths are crimes borne out of racial and gender hatred, and the particular poison of anti-Asian resentment that has been growing since the start of COVID-19 pandemic a year ago.  This is the culmination of a year of hateful words spewing from across the country, including, sadly, the White House, giving those motivated by fear and prejudice permission to act on their violent thoughts.

Every one of us has a right to be exactly where we are, and to live our lives without fear that our skin color, our facial features, our gender, may cause others to be violent towards us.  Please look out for each other.  If you have felt victimized in any way, please reach out for help:  a good place to start could be the Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response Office   You can also turn to us here in the department:  Associate Head Deepto Chakrabarty (, Academic Administrator Cathy Modica (, Graduate Advocate Claude Canizares (, and I ( , among others, stand ready to talk with you and support you.  

Peter Fisher, Department Head

Peter Fisher
Department Head
Thomas A. Frank (1977) Professor of Physics