JEZUBA JOINS 400 ORGANIZATIONS TO UNITE IN A WORLDWIDE VIGIL TO REMEMBER THE VICTIMS OF THE ATLANTA SHOOTING
Proud to Support #StopAsianHate National Day of Action and Healing
(President Joe Biden’s tweet)
Oakland, CA – JEZUBA joined a Worldwide Vigil on Friday, March 26th–in support of the #StopAsianHate National Day of Action and Healing--and to unite as a global community in paying respects to the eight victims killed in the Atlanta shooting, to promote communal healing and hope in the face of heightened violence that has traumatized the entire Asian American community, and to call for solidarity under a banner of anti-racism.
The Atlanta shooting, which killed eight people, including six women of Korean and Chinese descent, took place on March 16, 2021, amidst a sharp spike in anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States last year. The research released by reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate revealed nearly 3,800 incidents against Asian Americans, 68% towards women, since March 19, 2020.
“We were proud to participate in this beautiful ceremony that brought together communities of all backgrounds to find solace in our collective grief. Out of this tragedy, an opportunity to stand against hate and racism together. Inspired by this Worldwide Vigil, Jezuba is hosting a virtual event to learn, to connect, and to be empowered. Join us on Saturday, April 17th at 10:30AM PDT. We must stand together during this difficult time, and commit to supporting the community,” said Rebecca, founder of Jezuba.
This vigil was part of numerous events taking place on March 26th, which was promoted as the #StopAsianHate National Day of Action and Healing, by Asian American Congressional leaders and civic organizations, with the support of President Joe Biden. March 26th is significant, as it is when the first U.S. law on naturalization, the Naturalization Act of 1790, was enacted to limit citizenship to only “free, White persons.”
The intersectional program included statements from the White House, South Korean Ambassador and four Korean American Members of Congress, Andy Kim (D-NJ), Young Kim (R-CA), Michelle Steel (R-CA), and Marilyn Strickland (D-WA)—with prayers by religious leaders: Imam Abdullah Jaber (CAIR-Georgia),Venerable Seok-Maya (Jun Dung Sa Temple), Mike Tai (4Pointes Church); poetry reading by Jessie Lian; singing by Adelaide Tai; and remarks by Community Leaders: Sarah Park (President, KAC Metro-Atlanta), Georgia Rep. Sam Park, Soyoung Yun, LPC, Nsé Ufot (Chief Executive Officer, New Georgia Project), Martha Revelo, (Outreach Director, Office of U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock), and Julie Katz (Assistant Director of American Jewish Committee (AJC) Atlanta).
Visit https://326vigil.org for the full recording of the event and full list of supporting organizations, including all major Korean and Asian American organizations, and nation’s top leading civic organizations such as the NAACP, American Jewish Committee, Hispanic Federation, Human Rights Campaign, and even corporations like NIKE and Amazon.
Here are the statements:
Statement from the White House through Congressman Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor to the President and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement:
My heart goes out to all who are joining the Asian American community to remember the victims of the horrific shootings in Atlanta that claimed the lives of eight people. I know this is a very painful time for everyone in the community who are mourning this tremendous loss, including the Korean American community -- as four of the victims were of Korean descent who immigrated to the United States in search of a better life; and for the AAPI women’s community--as six of the victims were Asian women.
President Biden has made clear that he condemns the distrusting rise in anti-Asian violence and that hate can have no safe harbor in America.
Our prayers are with the families of the victims and everyone gathered today to grieve and try to find solace together. We will stand together against hate, against racism, against sexism, against violence, including gender-based violence—and stand up for justice, for love, for healing.
Joint Statement from four Korean American Members of Congress, Andy Kim, Young Kim, Michelle Steel, and Marilyn Strickland
Tonight’s vigil is not just a reminder of those we’ve lost; we have come together as Korean American members of Congress to demonstrate our solidarity in the face of hate and fear. No one action, level of government, or individual can stop Asian hate. But by coming together, and bringing allies with us, we can make progress that will keep our AAPI community safe and honor those lives so cruelly and prematurely taken from us. To the families of the eight victims, you have our deepest condolences. We can and must always remember their names and work to address the escalating violence against Asian that cost them their lives.
Statement from Republic of Korea through South Korean Ambassador Lee Soo Hyuck:
I would like to express my deepest condolences to the victims of the tragic shootings that took place on March 16 in the Atlanta Metropolitan area and extend deepest sympathies to the families who lost their loved ones. I would like to offer my sincere sympathies to all Korean-Americans and Asian-American communities in the United States distressed by this tragedy.
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea strongly condemns anti-Asian hate crimes which have increased recently, and reaffirms its support for all the efforts to uphold values of diversity, mutual respect, and co-existence. The Embassy will continue to make every effort to protect Koreans from hate crimes in cooperation with the law enforcement authorities of the United States.
Sarah Park (President, KAC Metro-Atlanta)
I join in grief, pain and anger for this senseless mass shooting. After a year of escalating violence, there is fear in our community. “Am I next” is what I hear. But do not be afraid. This IS our home. This IS our country. And we WILL stand and fight to protect our community, the vulnerable among us and the next generation.
Martha Revelo, (Outreach Director, Office of U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock):
Julie Katz (Assistant Director of American Jewish Committee (AJC) Atlanta):
Poetry reading by Jessie Lian
“Thank you. It’s an honor to be here. This poem that I’m about to read is based off of tiny details that I found about the victims, things that they loved. I hope that it honors them as much as it honors us and our collective experiences, our collective grief, and our collective yearning to be seen, be heard, and belong.
They softened sores,
They knocked on aches,
Pointed them outside, and said, “Get up, pack your bags, and go.”
They made space for us to breathe easy,
Flipped on the lights in these foreign rooms,
Clasped the edges of the kitchen counter like a prayer,
Like, “Maybe the stove could be an altar for my offerings,
Maybe even a sanctuary for my belonging.”
They patted dry the tofu,
Massaged these leafy immigrant greens,
Scooped up families of rice into a boiling new country,
Never thought once about how brave it all was...
Only that it was necessary.
They stirred the kimchi stew with a wooden spoon,
Then tucked it away into a little white bowl,
Like a parcel of home,
An envelope stuffed with the feeling of “full,”
Postmarked to everyone like it would never run dry.
Their hands made space for us to be full
And take space.
And their hands
They’d sometimes clutch the karaoke mic like a sword,
Slice their songs into the dark and glittering rooms,
Sang-shout their dreams,
Like, “One day, I will travel for leisure instead of survival
And I will live long enough to see my grandchildren,
Live life that I paved for them,
The life that I could never live.”
they rocked their children in an envious slumber,
Held their tiny fingers,
Whispered terrified promises of “I will take care of you.”
Their hands took care of us...
Held close everything worth holding.
Let us lay their worn and traveled hands
On top of their holy hearts
That they may finally hold,
And be held.
Let us stack our hands
On top of theirs,
A planet of embrace,
One collective push,
One breath of world back into their lungs,
Give them back the voice
For what they could never say.
Give us the voice
For what they could never say.
For us to make loud.
The sing-shout dreaming,
The ripping open of parcels of home,
The huffing and puffing before the breathing easy,
The soothing and the screaming,
The whimpering and the roaring,
The peacekeeping and the power-keeping,
The standing and the dancing,
The holding and releasing,
The quiet and the mouth wide open like ocean laughter.
The whistling of freedom,
Turn on the lights,
Sit at the table,
And hold hands.