I also have the pleasure of knowing, learning from, and working with Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, Eugene Cho, and Pastor Ray Chang (President of the Asian American Christian Collective or AACC). In light of the massacre on March 16, 2021 in Atlanta, the AACC (including several of the friends I have mentioned here), have drafted a statement that I was honored to sign. I encourage you to read, consider doing the same, and then supporting the organization as they work towards education for all and healing for the AAPI community.
On March 16, 2021, a 21-year-old white male massacred eight people, six of whom were Asian women. Authorities have now released all of the victim’s names and ages but as of yet, little is known of their stories. We choose to honor them by sharing their names and the little we know at the time of this statement in order to center their humanity: 谭小洁 Xiaojie Tan, 49, an owner of one of the spas, and mother to one daughter; 김현정 Hyun Jung Grant, 51, a single mother of two boys; 冯道友 Daoyou Feng, 44; 박순정 Soon Chung Park, 74; 김순자 Sun Cha Kim, 69; 유영애 Yong Ae Yue, 63; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, recently married and a mother to a 13-year-old son and an 8-month-old daughter; and Paul Andre Michels, 54, a former Army infantryman who owned a business installing security systems and was doing work for one of the spas. It must be said again: Each life had a story with layers of backgrounds, families and loved ones, and hopes and dreams.
We mourn the loss of these precious people made in God’s image. We are outraged along with the Asian American community as a whole over the violence that has surged during the pandemic yet has roots from long before it.
Asian American Christian Collaborative (AACC) condemns and denounces the violence committed in the Atlanta massacre on March 16, 2021. We call Christians and church leaders to make a clear and urgent response condemning this heinous act of hate, and we invite all Americans to work toward the dignity and respect of Asian and Asian American lives, especially women.
Continue reading and sign the statement here.