One year later: Honoring the victims of anti-Asian hateMar 15, 2022
Reverberations are still felt in Colorado’s Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community one year after eight people were killed in the Atlanta Metro Area – amongst whom were six Asian American women. On March 16, 2021, Daoyou Feng, Hyun Jung Grant, Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, Suncha Kim, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and Yong Ae Yue were killed. Since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, Asians and Asian Americans have experienced a sharp increase in discrimination and violence. In Colorado, 119 incidents were reported to the national Stop AAPI Hate reporting platform in 2020 and 2021 with the majority of incidents being verbal attacks.
On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, one year after the Atlanta shooting, a collective of Colorado’s AAPI nonprofits and community members hosted a panel discussion honoring the lives lost to anti-Asian hate. Panelist included Dr. Emmy Betz, Director of the Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative at the Injury & Violence Prevention Center, Harry Budisidharta, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Development Center, Maisha Fields, Director of Community Partnerships, Salud Family Health Centers, Dr. DJ Ida, Executive Director of National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association, and Brian Sugioka, Chief Deputy District Attorney, 18th Judicial District. The panel of local leaders discussed gun violence prevention, trauma and mental health, community building and resilience, and strategies/tools to combat hate.
While heartbroken, many in Colorado’s AAPI community seek change, as it honors the lives of those lost in Atlanta, as well as all the other Asians and Asian Americans who have been victimized since.
This event was organized by: Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado, Asian Pacific Development Center, and Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network, and supported by Asian Chamber of Commerce, Asian Girls Ignite, Asian Real Estate Association of America Greater Denver, Colorado Asian Pacific United, Community Organizing for Radical Empathy, Denver Immigrant & Refugee Commission Japanese Arts Network, & Sakura Foundation.