The murders of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in Atlanta on March 16 was shocking, saddening news. This violence and disregard for human life is abhorrent and has no place in our society. To our Asian employees and employees of Asian descent, we all stand with you in grief and outrage.
Over the past year, there has been an alarming increase in anti-Asian hate crimes and the expression of racist views about Asian people throughout the US, UK and Europe. This data represents a surge off of what was already an unacceptable baseline. These incidents, which are largely attributed to ignorance related to the COVID-19 outbreak, include everything from verbal harassment to physical assault to workplace discrimination. We have not received any reports of employees feeling discriminated against or stereotyped at work due to this outbreak, but the misinformation, racial stereotyping and fear mongering being disseminated, especially on social media, has contributed to a heightened sense of concern for one’s safety.
The recent increase in race-based violence against the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community reflects the long road we as a society face toward eliminating racism, discrimination and persecution. The events of 2020 forced us all to confront and reflect upon many significant challenges, including racial injustice. The pain of this latest hate crime will not pass easily. But it reminds us to collectively strive to find opportunities that support and celebrate others, bring recognition of the underrepresented, and promote equity, inclusion and cultural understanding.
Our colleagues in MOSAIC, our multicultural resource group, will be sharing links to educational materials about how to support the AAPI community and will continue to provide resources in the lead up to AAPI Heritage Month in May. I encourage all employees to review the materials, reflect, and consider opportunities to participate in and champion diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Loomis Sayles and beyond.
Kevin P. Charleston
Chairman & CEO