Support for BGS Students and BPP Postdocs Regarding Violence and Anti-Asian Hate Incidents

Dear BGS Students and Biomedical Post-doctoral Fellows, 

We would like to add our voices to those of others on campus and in the Perelman School of Medicine, as well as the those of the student leaders of the BGS Peer Support Network (see those messages and lists of resources below).   Many of you are non-US citizens or first-generation students who have had to face significant challenges to come to graduate school or postdoctoral training at Penn, and we are horrified that so many of you have been directly targeted and harassed on the basis of your race over the past year. This week's murders in Atlanta underscore the dangers of being non-white in our country, and we share in your grief and dismay.

BGS students represent 36 countries beyond the US, reflecting a great richness of heritages and experiences -- a richness that is reflected among many of our US-born students as well. Our post-doctoral fellows reflect a similar richness and diversity.  We are deeply honored to bring together trainees with a broad range of cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, and we appreciate that the diversity you bring makes us better as a community and as individuals.

We want you to know that we are committed to your health and safety, and we urge you to participate in Flatten the Hate and to take advantage of Penn support systems, including the Peer Support Network.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us or to your graduate group advisors with any needs you may have.



Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, PhD 

Associate Dean, Graduate Education, PSOM 

Lawrence (Skip) Brass, MD, PhD

Associate Dean, Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs, PSOM

Maja Bucan, PhD

Associate Dean, Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs, PSOM

Donita Brady, PhD

Assistant Dean, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (IDE) in Research Training, PSOM

Jonathan Epstein, MD 

Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, PSOM 


Dear BGS students,

We are deeply horrified and grief-stricken by the murders that took place on Tuesday in Atlanta. Eight people were murdered, and six of them were Asian women. These horrific shootings take place amongst the innumerable racist and misogynistic acts of violence and hatred against Asians and Asian Americans in this country’s history. In particular, over the past year during the pandemic, there has been a striking and alarming surge of hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.

We at the Peer Support Network grieve for the lost lives, the suffering families and communities, as well as everyone who has been a direct target of these racist acts in the midst of such trying times. We recognize that because of these incidents, the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander members of our community may feel especially vulnerable. We stand in solidarity with you, and we pledge to support you and to help amplify your voices.

We value and are incredibly grateful for the diverse community here at BGS. Throughout this pandemic, there have been countless acts of hate-filled violence committed against Asians, as well as Black people and other Peoples of Color in our communities. As the Peer Support Network, we stand with you. We are thinking of you. We are here, if needed, as a support system for you. Below, we list a number of resources that we encourage you to use.

If you would like to connect to a Peer Mentor, please complete this form:


Wishing you health and healing,

The Peer Support Network


Other Resources and Support

If you have any doubt about where to turn, Penn’s HELP Line is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, at 215-898-HELP.The HELP line is staffed with professionals trained in making mental health referrals and can help you access resources to cope with emotional challenges,  

CAPS: 215-898-7021 

CAPS support groups, including for BIPOC students

Student Health Services: 215-746-3535 

Office of the Chaplain 215-898-8456 

Penn Medicine Together

Racial diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism resources at Penn:

penn medicine

Dear Penn Medicine Colleagues,

The recent violence and discrimination against the Asian community in America is a reminder of the pervasive, dangerous nature of racism in our society. We are deeply appalled and troubled by these vicious incidents.

We are so proud of our talented, diverse Asian community here at Penn Medicine, and we know that many are hurting in light of these terrible acts. Right now, we would like to send our heartfelt support for any Asian faculty, staff, or students that have experienced racism, and assure you that your safety remains our top priority.

At Penn Medicine, we have the power to come together to work for change. So, now more than ever, we ask you to support one another and reaffirm our shared commitment to racial justice.

Please read more in the message below from Penn President Amy Gutmann, Provost Wendell Pritchett and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli.


J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD

Dean, Perelman School of Medicine

Executive Vice President for the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System

Kevin B. Mahoney

CEO, University of Pennsylvania Health System


                                                                                                             A Message to the Penn Community

                                                                                            Regarding Violence and Anti-Asian Hate Incidents from

                                                                                                                     Amy Gutmann, President

                                                                                                                    Wendell Pritchett, Provost

                                                                                                    Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our country has witnessed an alarming and deeply troubling surge of violence, hatred and discrimination directed at Asians and Asian Americans. We write today to denounce this appalling prejudice and to assure our students, faculty, staff and postdocs of Asian descent that Penn is unwavering in our commitment to providing you with a safe, welcoming and supportive campus environment.

We are enormously proud of the large, vibrant, and diverse Asian community at Penn. We are equally proud of the myriad contributions our Asian community make to the striking success of our University. Penn has numerous programs aimed at supporting our international and Asian American students. Just this past year, we formed a Task Force on Support for Asian and Asian American Students and Scholars to coordinate and enhance support to members of the Penn community experiencing increased stigma, bias, discrimination, and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage all members of the Penn community to join the Task Force’s #FlattenTheHate Campaign. You can find information about important support resources and read about the campaign and the important work of the Task Force here:

Please be assured that among our highest priorities is ensuring the safety of all our students, faculty and staff while fostering a campus community that is rich in our diversity, respect, and tolerance for all groups from every nationality, religion, race, creed, and sexual orientation. We cannot state more clearly or forcefully that we will not tolerate discrimination, hatred, intimidation, or violence that is directed at any member of our University community.

Sadly, we know that discrimination against Asians in America is not a recent development. At this time of great stress for Asian citizens and visitors across the country, we want those of Asian descent who are part of our Penn community to know that we stand strongly and proudly with you. We are committed to working together to address this racism and hatred. We are grateful that you are part of our university community, and we offer our full support at this most difficult and trying time.



If you have any doubt about where to turn, Penn’s HELP Line is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, at 215-898-HELP.

CAPS: 215-898-7021

Student Health Service: 215-746-3535

Student Intervention Services: 215-898-6081

Office of the Chaplain: 215-898-8456

Weingarten Learning Resources Center: 215-573-9235

Special Services (within Division of Public Safety): 215-898-6600

Employee Assistance Program: 866-799-2329

International Student and Scholar Services: 215-898-4661

Pan Asian American Community House: (PAACH): 215-746-6046