Advocates and Community Members Gather in Solidarity Against Anti-Asian Hate Across Country Following Mass Shootings

Asian American Activism rally held in New York City on March 19, 2021 via wikipedia

By Michael Apfel 

NEW YORK CITY, NY – Stand with Asian Americans, which claims it’s the largest coalition of Asian American entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and activists, announced amid mass shootings across the country of Asian Americans, the Asian American community will come together to mourn loved ones in solidarity against systemic issues affecting the community.

“Always With Us: Asian Americans Rise Against Hate” events on March 16 will be held in Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, New York and San Francisco, featuring Asian American leaders and advocates promoting the solidarity and resilience of the Asian American community, said SWAA.

“As the proud son of a Korean woman and a Black man, I believe all of us have a shared responsibility against hate,” said Robert Peterson, son of Yong Ae Yue, a victim of the March 16, 2021 Atlanta Spa shootings.

Peterson added, “My mother was an Asian woman who was targeted for being who she was, and for occupying a particular space, by someone she didn’t know. She would want us to continue fighting for visibility, for our collective values, and for the safety of our community and our families. This sentiment is one that all people should be able to support.”

In Atlanta, guests will include District Attorney Gwinnett District Attorney Patsy; Georgia State Representative Sam Park; author, film producer and director Curtis Chin; and producer Gina Kim.

In New York City, guests will include Congress Member Grace Meng; Rise founder and Nobel Prize nominee Amanda Nguyen; and R&B Singer Wolftyla.

In San Francisco, Brandon Tsay, the hobbyist computer programmer who disarmed the gunman in Monterey Park; Justin Go, the father of victim Michelle Go; film director Jon Osaki; activist Sasanna Yee; author Mimi Lok; cellist Eileen Moon.

In New York, invitees include U.S. Congress Member Grace Meng; Rise founder and Nobel Prize nominee Amanda Nguyen; and musician Wolftyla;

In San Francisco, those invited include Brandon Tsay, who stopped the gunman in Monterey Park; Justin Go, the father of victim Michelle Go; filmmaker Jon Osaki; activist Sasanna Yee; author Mimi Lok; concert cellist Eileen Moon; and singer/songwriter Melissa Polinar.

The Stand with Asian Americans statement notes national polling data suggests the increase in violence against Asian Americans has impacted the behavior of Asian Americans, who have expressed a change in their day-to-day activities in order to avoid potential violence.

The group cites a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in May, 2022, found only 19 percent of respondents said their elected officials were doing a “very or somewhat good job” at dealing with violence against Asian Americans, and a previous survey by AAPI Data discovered that, since 2021, 16 percent of Asian American and 14 percent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander adults have experienced a hate incident.

“Too many Asian Americans no longer feel safe, even in their own homes, due to anti-Asian hate,” said Charles Jung, executive director of APAs vs. Hate.

Jung added, “The damage caused to the community is visible and invisible, physical and psychological, fueled by rhetoric, discrimination, and lies, leading to violence against innocent people. This is unacceptable. March 16th is becoming a day where we confront the grief of our community, but declare that we are calling for better treatment, better services, and a better country for Asian American communities.”

“Anti-Asian hate and rhetoric has directly fueled violence against the community,” said Wendy Nguyen, a co-founder of Stand with Asian Americans.

Nguyen added, “Despite playing an integral role in the building of our country, Asian Americans have continued to be assaulted — verbally, physically, and emotionally. With recent events, we are mourning the tragic loss of more members in our community. The upcoming year will be powerful for everyone, including non-AAPI friends and supporters, to remember the lives lost and stand together.”

About The Author

Michael Apfel is a second year at USC majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Sports Media Industries. He plans on law school after his undergraduate studies looking to work in social justice.

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