Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine and President Shaun R. Harper on the Shootings in Atlanta and Growing Anti-Asian Violence

For Immediate Release: March 17, 2021

Tony Pals,
(202) 238-3235

Tong Wu,
(202) 238-3233

Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine and President Shaun R. Harper on the Shootings in Atlanta and Growing Anti-Asian Violence

March 17, 2021

The shooting deaths of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in Atlanta yesterday is a horrendous tragedy, and just the latest incident in an ever growing wave of mass violence in our country. We extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones of the victims and to communities in Atlanta and across the United States that have been deeply affected by this senseless assault. As police continue to investigate the suspect’s motives and actions, it is clear that these murders have once again brought to the forefront the appalling rise in anti-Asian violence this past year.

According to data released in March by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, hate crimes against Asian Americans in the largest 16 U.S. cities spiked by nearly 150 percent in 2020, while overall hate crimes dropped by 7 percent.

The American Educational Research Association strongly and unequivocally condemns anti-Asian discrimination and violence and calls on all officials to speak out to ensure that this discrimination is not further inflamed. We speak as an organization deeply committed to improving educational policies, practices, and systems for the betterment of students and society, including reducing the spread of hate, injustice, and racism.

We also speak out at a time when there have been increasing occurrences of racism and violence against Asian, Pacific Islander, and Asian American students and colleagues at U.S. schools and higher education institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discrimination and racism in educational settings harm not only the academic experiences of those directly impacted but all community members. It must stop.  

In April 2020, AERA joined with 49 other science organizations to endorse congressional resolutions condemning anti-Asian discrimination related to COVID-19. Today, we recommit ourselves to standing united with people of Asian ancestry, to pushing back on efforts to blame them for the pandemic, and to promoting the importance of global diversity, equity, and inclusion.


About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.