A Message to Our Community at the Virginia University of Integrative Medicine

A Message to Our Community at the Virginia University of Integrative Medicine

Dear VUIM Family,

In light of the recent tragedy that has ensued in Atlanta, Georgia, the Virginia University of Integrative Medicine (VUIM) wishes to express our deepest condolences and grief to the families and loved ones of those who were injured and murdered as a result of that senseless act of violence. We stand in solidarity with the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities during this tragic time. We condemn the racism, discrimination, misogyny, and violence that exist at the core of such episode of hate and ignorance.

Horrifically, eight lives were taken from us in our great country this week – six of whom were of Asian descent. This is a heinous act that, from my personal perspective, appears to have been motivated by race — a position I understand to be in contrast to the comments made by the local authorities on the matter at this time. However, it must be noted that since the outset of the global pandemic, innumerable attacks (both violent and verbal) have been directed against members of the global AAPI community. Every day, we are seeing instances of physical assault, verbal harassment, and refusal of service towards our friends and colleagues on the basis of their ethnicity and heritage. Moreover, this type of dangerous and repulsive behavior is being directed most often toward our most vulnerable people — youth, elderly, and women.

As a husband, father, and son to a wife, daughter, and mother — each of whom are Korean — this one touches a bit closer to home. As the Chief Executive Officer of an institution with mostly female students, who are of Asian descent and are pursuing training in a form of patient care that also practices alongside professionals in a spa and wellness environment at times, I am particularly appalled at what has occurred.

Anti-Asian harassment and violence, and all forms of racism, must be challenged and stopped. We must continue to do the hard work that will help ensure that our future is different: more just, accepting, and inclusive. The future we build must be one in which the devaluation of the basic humanity of others is no longer accepted, and each of us has a role to play in that. These intolerant and heinous acts cannot and will not be tolerated.

We want to remind you that you are not alone during these challenging times. Our Admissions Office is open and available remotely for students who wish to connect at admissions@vuim.edu. If you are looking for emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24/7 to provide free and confidential crisis assistance to anyone in need. We urge everyone to visit resources like www.stopaapihate.org and www.advancingjustice-aajc.org to learn more about ways to support or to report an incident.

Moving forward, we are going to continue engaging in these hard conversations, to continue listening and learning from one another, in order to become a stronger community of healers.

The VUIM Leadership team and I sincerely look forward to seeing you all back on campus and rejoining safely in person. Until then, let’s take care of ourselves and one another.

Best regards,

John Yoo

Chief Executive Officer

Virginia University of Integrative Medicine

For questions and concerns, please contact us directly at info@vuim.edu.