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Friends set to drive 50 miles across New York City to raise awareness in Asian American community after outbreak of hate crimes

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) – Two friends embark on an 80-mile trip through New York City – all to raise awareness in the Asian American community after a wave of hate crimes.

They are also raising funds on a GoFundMe page to honor a deceased journalist who has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others.

Kai Ng and Leland Yu share many ties – they were both raised in Chinatown. Now they love to run.

“I have been running since going to school here,” Ng said.

And Yu started running last year during the pandemic.

“It was my main interest in exercise / hobby and my skills,” Yu said.

Their relationship began six months ago – the two find a deeper purpose in hitting the pavement. Especially Ng, who was born in Hong Kong.

“When I was growing up I was very confused as an immigrant. I wanted to be as American as possible, ”he said.

It was by meeting Yu that Ng found his cultural pride. And Ng, a running trainer himself, also learned that Yu was using his run to help other members of their community devastated by the pandemic early last year in Chinatown. Businesses were closing and people were struggling.

“I was trying to help my community through my run, so the idea of ​​a charity run came to my mind,” Yu said.

That run raised $ 25,000 last May, and now Yu and Ng are teaming up and planning a 50 mile run in New York on Saturday morning to raise awareness among Asian American organizations and well-known journalist Corky Lee.

Lee, known for fighting racial injustice with his camera, died in January of COVID. Right before his death, he was working on a project to combat negative stereotypes of Asians in media cinema.

Now these friends are picking up this torch to raise funds to make a mural for Lee – to inspire generations to come.

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