Nationwide Events Marked One-Year Anniversary of Atlanta Spa Shootings
Nationwide Events Marked One-Year Anniversary of Atlanta Spa Shootings
Asian American Organizations Nationwide Held Events in 11 cities to “Break The Silence” on the One Year Anniversary of Atlanta Spa Shootings
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Press Contacts: Charles Jung and Justin Zhu, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-762-3100.
- Dozens of Asian American groups around the country organized “Break The Silence – Justice for Asian Women” events in communities across America on March 16th, at the one year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings
- Organizers called for more support for survivors of hate crimes and awareness about on-going violence and biases against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women
- According to research, one in five AAPIs Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders experienced a hate incident in the past year and two thirds of the victims have been women.
- Seventy-four percent (74%) of AAPI women in the U.S. report experiencing racism, discrimination over the past year
Asian American and Pacific Islander communities came together across eleven (11) major cities coast to coast for a national moment to acknowledge the one year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings and to uplift the experience of Asian American women. Participating cities were Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Sacramento, San Francisco, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C.
In Atlanta hundreds gathered despite the rain and they were joined by Family members of victims who spoke on behalf of their lost loved ones.
Robert Peterson, the son of Yong Ae Yue, killed at the Aromatherapy Spa in Buckhead said that “it is important to identify her and the other victims, as Asian women.” Peterson said that his mother Yong Ae Yue “would want to be known as more than just a victim on March 16th.” “She would ask that we do speak up and break the silence to be heard. To be visible, respected, and represented in all aspects of our lives.” “My mom would say that this is a crime of hate against Asian Americans.”. “It is important to call it what it is: a crime racially motivated.” “My mother was an Asian woman who was targeted for who she was.” “Sometimes racism doesn’t come with the perpetrator spewing epithets. It doesn’t always come documented in manifestos or video.”
Michael Webb, the adoptive father of victim Xiaojie Tan’s daughter said, “I’m also here today to break my silence. I was raised in the South in a community where racial bias and hate was prevalent every day. My family were pillars of the community. We were also racist.” “This was all we knew. This is the way we were programmed to think as children. We were exposed to nothing else. This excuse is no longer acceptable.” Mr. Webb advocated for education to address anti-Asian prejudice: “Since Asian Americans have been an essential part of our community, of our country for 200 years, wouldn’t it be wise to teach Asian American history in our schools?” Tan was among the first victims of the shooting when it began in the northwest Atlanta suburb of Acworth.
Stacey Abrams said, “Breaking the Silence of the hatred of Asian Women should’ve started in the 1800s, but by God it will happen today.” “As a Black woman, I know I am only as safe as the woman standing next to me.” “We must tell Asian stories.”
Secretary of State Candidate Bee Nguyen, currently the highest ranking elected AAPI woman in Georgia said “insert quote from Bee”
The national organizers, Stand with Asian Americans (SwAA) and APAs vs. Hate (AvH), together along with the Atlanta Justice Rally Coalition shared their purpose for bringing together this movement.
APAs vs. Hate Executive Director Charles Jung said, “It moved me to tears to hear from the victims’ families and to see members of other communities come out to support Asian Americans. The violence against our community must stop. It is time for Asian Americans to unapologetically center their own experiences. Asian Americans are fully American, and as Americans, we deserve equal treatment under the law and to be free from violence.”
During the pandemic and since the Atlanta shootings on March 16, 2021, incidents and reporting of violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans have tragically continued to escalate over 331%. The Atlanta shootings, and so many other recent incidents of Asian hate captured on video and rotating in the media, have shocked the nation. Event organizers and others across the nation are speaking out and taking action together to vocally respond and demand action and change.
City Specific Information:
Atlanta (Nearly 300 Attendees)
Local Organizers: Atlanta Asian Justice Rally Coalition
- Cam Ashling: email@example.com | 404-759-1782
- Bonnie Youn: firstname.lastname@example.org | 770-335-0029
- Chris Chan: email@example.com | 404-625-9599
- Megan Paquin (VP, Poston Communications): firstname.lastname@example.org | (404) 875-3400
Time: 11:30 – 2 PM ET (Program Start 12 noon)
Location: GA Railroad Freight Depot, 65 MLK Drive, SW, Atlanta, GA 30303
- 2 Family members of 3/16 victims: Robert Peterson & Michael Webb
- Stacey Abrams, Candidate for Georgia Governor
- Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens
- US Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux
- Georgia AAPI State Representatives and Senators
- WHIAANHPI (pending confirmation of White House representative attending)
New York City (over 1000 in attendance)
Local Organizers: Stand with Asian Americans
- Franklin Shen: email@example.com | 717-333-1831
- Diana S: firstname.lastname@example.org | 919-621-0232
- Don Vu: email@example.com | 917-312-6401
Time: 6:30 pm ET
Location: Father Duffy Square, New York, NY
- Eugena Oh, MC of the night and President of “I Have a Dream” Foundation
- Esther Lee, Survivor and victim of anti-Asian hate crime in 2022
- Elizabeth “Liz” Kari, Advocate and daughter of victim Vilma Kari; Founder of AAP(I Belong)
- Kat Yen, Victim of anti-Asian hate crime in 2022
- Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director, Asian American Federation
- Nikki Singh, Manager of Policy and Advocacy, Sikh Coalition
- Amanda Nguyen, Social entrepreneur, civil rights activist, and the CEO and founder of Rise
- Min Jin Lee, Journalist and New York Times bestseller author
- Governor Kathy Hochul, 57th and first female Governor of New York State
- Perry Yung, Musician and actor
- Bohan Phoenix, Musician and storyteller with a single in the new Netflix movie “Fistful of Vengeance” and an album out later this year
- Migiwa Miggy Miyajima and friends, Jazz Pianist / Composer / Producer
- Kate Rigg, Actor, comedian, and singer
San Francisco (over 500 in attendance)
Local Organizers: Asians Are Strong, Stand with Asian Americans (SwAA), APAs vs. Hate (AvH)
Press Contacts: Myron Lee <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 415-412-2141
Time: 3:00 p.m. PT, Program starts 5:00 p.m. PT
Location: Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco CA 94102
- Wendy Nguyen, Stand With Asian Americans (Co-Founder)
- Ashlyn So, Fashion designer & Youth Activist
- Olivia Cheng, Actress & Activist
- Beckie Masaki, Asian Women’s Shelter (Founding ED) & Community Activist
- Shinhong Byun – President, Korean Bar Association of Northern California
- Pansori performer Go Mi Sook
- Priya Vijaykumar
- K-Pop dance group Groove
Press Contacts: Pacyinz Lyfoung, email@example.com, 202-803-0262
Time: 5 pm to 7 pm
Location: The Chinese Community Church, 500 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20001.
Speakers: This will be a community healing and arts gathering. Pacyinz Lyfoung, DC attorney/poet/activist, and Vy Vu from the API Domestic Violence Resource Project and an artist, will be co-hosting the community event. A panel discussion will follow, sponsored by the DC Mayor’s Office for APIAs.
Local Organizers: Chicago Asian Women Empowerment (main organizer), Miss Chinese Chicago, OCA Chicago, Chinese American Museum of Chicago, Project:VISION, Asian Human Services, Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Korean American Coalition of Chicago, Yin He Dance, Korean American Association of Chicago, Hanul Family Alliance, Chinese American Service League
Press Contact: Cindy Xie, firstname.lastname@example.org, 773-807-3688
Time: 5:00 – 7:30 CT
Location: Chinese American Museum of Chicago, 238 W. 23rd St., Chicago, IL 60616
Event Page: https://www.chi-awe.org/jaw
Press Contact: Kurtis Fernandez, email@example.com, 970-691-9187
Time: 12:00 – 2:00 ET
Location: Spirit Plaza, 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
Event Page: https://fb.me/e/1rlnve0Yn
Houston (nearly 100 in attendance)
Press Contact: Nicole Su, NSu@m2dlaw.com
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 CT
Location: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney Street, Houston, TX 77010
Event Page: https://fb.me/e/2ePAfaTex
Sacramento: Solidarity Vigil & Rally
Press Contact: Melissa Sagun (Communications Director, APICA) firstname.lastname@example.org; 6197883978
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 PT
Location: CA State Capitol, West Steps, 1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Event Page: https://fb.me/e/1wPrlK0wT
Press Contact: Courtney Castleberry 651-491-9463 email@example.com
Time: 1:30 – 3:00 CT
Location: Heart of The Beast Theater,1500 E Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN
Press Contact: Yeong Cheng, firstname.lastname@example.org, 972-896-0845
Time: 10:00 – 6:00 MT
Location: Sloan’s Lake
About the Rallies:
The Break The Silence: Justice for Asian Women events are being held in twelve cities: Atlanta, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Sacramento, Washington, D.C., Twin Cities, Dallas, Detroit, and Chicago. It is a national event on March 16, 2022, the anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings, to acknowledge and uplift all women, specifically those in the AsianAPI community.
More information can be found: https://www.asianjusticemovement.org/awr
About Anti-Asian Hate:
Hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have risen sharply since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Stop AAPI Hate, a total of 10,370 hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons were reported to their organization between March 19, 2020, and September 30, 2021. Of the hate incidents reflected in their report, 4,599 occurred in 2020 (44.4%) and 5,771 occurred in 2021 (55.7%). According to their research, one in five Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders experienced a hate incident in the past year. The top types of encounters are: verbal harassment, shunning, physical assault, online harassment, and other civil rights violations. Read more at stopaapihate.org.
AAPI women face a disproportionate burden of anti-AAPI hate with 62% of all national hate incidents being reported by AAPI women, according to a March report by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF). NAPAWF conducted a nationally representative survey of AAPI women in conjunction with The Harris Poll in January and February 2022.
The NAPAWF report observed that racialized misogyny faced by AAPI women is not limited to hate incidents, but also includes experiences with different forms of harassment. AAPI women are continuously fetishized, exoticized, and objectified through hyper-sexualization, affecting the racialized, gendered, and sexualized violence AAPI women experience, historically and now. Even prior to the pandemic, AAPI women experienced a great deal of violence and discrimination at the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, immigration status, and socioeconomic class, among many other factors.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Press Contacts:
Charles Jung and Justin Zhu