Anti-Asian Racism Message from the Dean


Dear UCI Law community,

During periods of national upheaval and distress, as we have faced in the last year, we see examples of cooperation and interdependence, as well as of division and anomie. In recent months, people of Asian heritage have reported an alarming increase of both physical and verbal assault rates across the country. According to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition focused on combatting the rise in racism against Asian American Pacific Islander communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 2,800 incidents of anti-Asian hate were reported between March 19 and December 31.

While we welcome the efforts of the new federal administration on these issues, it is incumbent on each of us as individuals and as members of institutions and communities to consider how we can challenge and alter these conditions.

Our community stands against racism of every kind. No one should be subject to violence and incidents of hate nor to greater vulnerability to disease because of their race, class, occupation, or geographic location. I hope that each of us can take the time to reflect on how we might make interventions, both large and small, in this moment of anti-Asian violence.  And I hope that this reflection will provide all of us with greater clarity on how this wave of racist violence shapes and is shaped by the less obvious forms of violence that has enveloped our lives this past year—the pandemic and all its maladies, police brutality, and large-scale failures of public infrastructure. Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s definition of racism as “state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death” has never been more apparent.

UCI Law is committed to supporting our students, staff, and faculty, to supporting research and public discourse bringing these conditions to light, and to training law graduates prepared to represent those who are most vulnerable to structural violence in the United States. We look forward to collaborating with members of our communities and our colleagues across the university in this work.



L. Song Richardson, Dean

Sameer Ashar, Associate Dean for Equity Initiatives

Jennah Jones, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence

Stephen Lee, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and APALSA Faculty Advisor