A message from Dr. Hendry Ton, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion published November 21, 2022.

As many of you know, protests have been ongoing for eight weeks in Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, who died while in custody of the morality police for not wearing a “proper” hijab. Her untimely passing ignited deep public resentment, unrest, and demonstrations after decades of inequality, discrimination, violence, and persecution. This movement, which was initially led by young Iranian women, has now spread to numerous other communities across the country under the rallying cry “Women. Life. Freedom.” To date, the brutal crackdowns by government forces have led to the deaths of an estimated 326 adults and children as well as the imprisonment of almost 15,000 individuals across the country.

UC Davis is committed to upholding fundamental human rights, health equity, and justice.  We affirm the dignity inherent in all and stand against the use of violence, repression, and discrimination. We recognize that peaceful protest has been an important transformational process to advance human rights, health equity, and social justice.  We are deeply concerned about the violent suppression of peaceful protests and the subsequent deaths of an estimated 326 Iranian adults and children.   

To our Iranian community members here, we hear your anguish over their deaths and your fears for the safety of the 15,000 people detained.  We are holding you in our hearts during these tumultuous times. If you need support or someone to talk to, we hope you will make use of the resources available.  These resources are described in the statement of support from Chancellor May, Provost Croughan, Vice Chancellors Lubarsky and Tull, and many of UC Davis’ leaders.

To our non-Iranian community and allies, we encourage you to continue reaching out to and checking on your Iranian team members. Please consider providing the necessary accommodations for those team members who are coping with trauma, re-experiencing harrowing memories of what is going on in their homeland, and living in fear of the present dangers to their family and friends still in Iran.

We at the Office for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion stand with all people around the world, who rightfully call for justice, safety, and peace. As an academic health community know that these are essential building blocks for health and wellness. Let us continue to strive toward that fundamental vision. 

Thank you all for your continued support of our patients, students, staff, and faculty.

Sincerely,
Hendry Ton, M.D., M.S.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

For those who wish to become more informed about the crisis in Iran, our students and faculty have compiled the following news and social media as resources and references:

Articles and Newsletters

Social Media pages