In an event Monday held in response to a spate of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S., Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern, called upon university officials to create a “comprehensive action plan” by the end of May to address ways in which Northeastern can better support its students and community.
Aoun tapped two senior university administrators to “look at what the university can do better,” he said: Karl Reid, senior vice provost and chief inclusion officer, and Ken Henderson, chancellor and senior vice president for learning.
“For some of you, it hasn’t been easy,” Aoun said during the event, titled “Standing Against Hate: A Time to Reflect, Act, and Show Solidarity.” “You shared your own experiences, and you shared your own journeys. The purpose of this dialogue is to empower people to speak, but also to act collectively, individually, and institutionally.”
The event featured conversations among students, faculty, and staff who called for action and shared personal experiences as members of the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Island community.
Diane N. MacGillivray, senior vice president for university advancement, shared her experience growing up as a Japanese American woman who often had to tease apart pieces of her family history to understand her own.
“I’m here with you not as an administrator, not as an expert in diversity, equity, and inclusion, not a specialist in the Asian American, Pacific Islander community—I’m here with you today simply as Diane. Diane Nishigaya,” she said, using her maiden name.