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Mourning Georgia – A Message from Dr. Uriah Kim
A message shared with GTU Faculty and Staff, March 18, 2021
It pains me greatly to again be reaching out to address our community on the occasion of such a senseless and hate-fueled event as we witnessed in Georgia earlier this week.
Like many of you, I am sure, the shootings in Georgia struck my heart with particular poignancy. When my mother came to the United States from South Korea with two children in tow more than 45 years ago, it was with great hope and deep faith in the “American Dream.” To me, this dream was not only about finding a quality of life augmented by measures of material prosperity and opportunity, but even more importantly, a quality of life defined by a prosperity of peace, cooperation, and love for one’s fellow human beings in a nation distinguished by its diverse tapestry of peoples.
This week, the United States and world witnessed yet another assault on this version of the American Dream with the mass murders in Atlanta, which specifically targeted Asian Americans. It is not lost on me that among the eight victims, six of them were Asian women much like my mother, who worked tirelessly to support her family. As an Asian American myself, of course, these events bring with them a singular sting of pain and lament. But that pain and lament is not only on behalf of those who share my ethnic and cultural background; it is a lament on behalf of all peoples who suffer at the hands of such heinous violence.
As we seek a way forward in the face of this brutality against the bodies of women and ethnic minorities, I pray that we let our commitment to hope be stronger than our despair. That our belief in the path of love and peace outshine our anguish at the persistence of hatred. And I pray that our community’s work to make a better world endures in the face of any doubts about the possibility of a brighter future that such events may foment, as we unequivocally condemn hatred in all of its forms and remain devoted to a path that can secure a world in which all peoples feel welcome, supported, and safe.
With peace and blessings,