To thrive freely without fear is what we all deserve

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow marks three years since the Atlanta, Georgia spa shootings stole the lives of eight people– six of whom were Asian women. They were friends and neighbors. Mothers and wives. Sisters and aunties.

Today we remember the victims for the lives they lived, reaffirm our commitment to end the pervasive anti-Asian rhetoric in our country and continue the healing with our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.

Stop AAPI Hate’s Director of Community Capacity, Trinh Le, at a tree planting ceremony hosted by Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta in 2023. Photo Credit: @aminmphotos

This month also marks four years since we co-founded Stop AAPI Hate with Chinese for Affirmative Action and the San Francisco State University Asian American Studies Department. AAPI Equity Alliance was expanding its work with the coalition at Stop AAPI Hate when we heard the news of this tragedy.

According to Stop AAPI Hate’s latest “Shades of Hate” report, hate is not confined to interpersonal interactions, but is bred within a larger environment of societal hate and can be hidden with connotations of anti-AAPI hate. Hate violence is a result of systemic racism and does not happen in a bubble – the tragedy in Atlanta is sadly an example of this.

We all deserve to live fully and thrive freely without fear. Until then AAPI Equity continues to advocate for stronger protections and additional resources, including reporting hate acts and studying the mental health impacts of racial trauma, to end the pervasive violence against AAPI communities.