Yesterday’s shootings in Georgia

Dear Members of the Harvard Chan School Community,

We were shocked and deeply saddened by news of the fatal shootings yesterday of eight people in the Atlanta area. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent.

Authorities are still investigating whether these murders were racially motivated. But these murders come at an extremely difficult time, when racially motivated physical and verbal attacks against people in the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities have been on the rise across the U.S. In addition, the fact that seven of the eight who were killed were women is a deeply troubling reminder of the longstanding problem of violence against women both in the U.S. and around the world.

We at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health are horrified by the tragedy in Georgia. And we are devastated at the epidemic of gun violence that continues to plague our nation.

We strongly condemn all acts of violence against Asians and all those who are targets of such abhorrent acts motivated by bigotry or hatred. We also condemn the violence that has taken the lives of so many women over the years. We mourn the victims of the shootings and we send our sympathy to their families and communities. We also resolve to work in whatever way we can to prevent such tragedies in the future.

For anyone in distress or in need of additional support, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Students may contact Colleen Cronin in Student Affairs,, 617-432-1542, or Harvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services, 617-495-2042 (617-495-5711 after hours).

Faculty and staff members may contact Jennifer Ivers in Faculty Affairs,; Linda Picard in Human Resources,; or Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program, 877-327-4278 (877-EAP-HARV).

Additionally, the Ombuds Office provides a highly confidential forum to students, faculty, and staff whose concerns are affecting their work or studies.

Given days like this—and given the difficulties we have dealt with over the past year—I remain extremely grateful to be part of our extraordinary community, and your concern for and commitment to the health and well-being of others. Please take good care of yourselves and of each other.



Michelle A. Williams, ScD
Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School