A crowd gathered at the National Mall in Washington, DC on Saturday for a Unity March – a multicultural event organized by Asian American leaders.
Event organizers share photos and videos showing that a large crowd had gathered to take part in the march, which aimed to bringing together the Asian American community and other historically marginalized groups to connect, learn from each other, and raise awareness about issues of racial equality, economic justice, and civic engagement.
The event came just a day after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The march took place near the United States Capitol and the Supreme Court building, as protesters demonstrating against the decision continued to gather across the country.
Tiffany Chang, event organizer and director of community engagement at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, said the major court decisions facing the country are yet another reminder of what the Asian American community stands for. bat.
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“These issues are going to affect Asian Americans as well, and it’s impossible to separate Asian issues from the gun violence prevention movement and the reproductive justice movement,” Chang said. “We are very aware of the wide range of issues we are facing at the moment, and we hope to be responsive as things evolve.”
This week also marked the 40th anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin, whose death galvanized the Asian American civil rights movement.
Organizers aimed to draw attention to other issues impacting multicultural and marginalized communities. These issues included establishing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people, promoting access to the vote for traditionally disenfranchised citizens, and supporting efforts to provide multicultural studies in education. K-12.
The march planning coalition was led by ten organizations – including Asian Americans for the Advancement of Justice – AAJC, Gold House, Sikh American Legal Defense (SALDEF) and Asian and Pacific Islander Vote (APIAVote) – and was comprised of over 50 multicultural partners representing Black, Latino, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and other historically marginalized communities.
Kiran Gill, event organizer and executive director of SALDEF, said she hopes the walk will encourage those in attendance to take the next step and get involved in their community.
“What we really want to get out of this march is people A, understanding the issues and people B, getting active where they can,” Gill said. “We will have calls to action around each of these areas around which people can rally to engage at the local, state and federal levels, because it is through solidarity that these issues can be recognized and addressed. “
The idea to create a march was born after the mass shootings at three Atlanta spas in March 2021 that left eight people dead – including six Asian women – and the FedEx shootings in Indianapolis that left eight dead on following month – four of them who were members of the city’s Sikh community.
“The message we took from Atlanta and Indianapolis is that we cannot fight racist and xenophobic violence alone,” Chang said. “So this can’t be an anti-Asian hate mobilization because what we’re up against is a system that in many ways is built on and takes violence against communities of color for granted.”
Chang said these goals can only be achieved by organizing and working together.
“What I want people to see is that solidarity is not an invented concept, solidarity is survival,” Chang said.
“The purpose of this is not only to reflect on the last 40 years of Asian American movements, but also to come together and ask, what does it look like to rebuild and restore the bases of Asian American activism in a way that recognizes the historical ties and solidarities between Asian Americans and the Black, Indigenous, and Latino civil rights movements?” Chang said.