DETROIT – On March 16, 2022 Asian and Pacific Islander Americans Vote-Michigan is hosting a community vigil in remembrance of the victims of the Atlanta spa shootings, and in support of survivors of radicalized, gender-based violence. The vigil will take place at the Hart Plaza in Detroit from 10 am to 12 pm. United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai will attend and speak at the event.
“Last year, I co-lead a rally for justice in support of the victims, survivors, and their families. I was deeply moved by the presence of all of my community members, partners, and friends. I look forward to seeing so many familiar faces at the vigil to continue promoting a safe space for women and the AAPI community,” says Rebeka Islam, Executive Director of APIA Vote-MI.
Conscious of the anniversary of the Atlanta shootings, and the one too many tragedies over the last year, this event will emphasize that the violence enacted on Asian women’s bodies does not solely define their identities and existence. The event encourages Asian women to be unapologetic and unified in their many expressions of strength.
APIA Vote-MI’s purpose is to advocate for safer communities by supporting policies that meet community needs and bringing our community together to ease the healing process. In solidarity with APIA Vote-MI’s local partners and national team, Rebeka Islam is organizing the vigil in Detroit to show support for the victim’s families and deepen our community of care for all communities.
“Not many people know the historic role Detroit has in Asian American activism. It was here in Detroit that Vincent Chin was beaten to death in a racially motivated crime. His death represents a critical turning point in that it mobilized Asian Americans and became a rallying cry for stronger federal hate crime laws. We have a responsibility to keep this activism alive and to speak out against racism whenever it rears its head,”says Islam.
The event also aims to provide space for uplifting the experiences of Asian women by acknowledging the complexities of their struggles, demanding change, and celebrating Asian women’s power.
Together, we can commit to push beyond oppressive boundaries and build sustainable, caring communities. Together, we can address the needs of victims of hate-crime violence and hold our elected leaders accountable for creating policies that center community needs. Together, we can push for community-based organizations which provide care and healing for victims of racial discrimination and gender-based violence.