Content warning: gun violence, hate violence, racism, patriarchal violence
Our hearts are profoundly heavy after a week of violence and loss. OPAWL stands in solidarity with the Monterey Park community after a mass shooting during Saturday’s Lunar New Year celebrations. We stand in solidarity with the Half Moon Bay community after yet another mass shooting on Sunday. We send our love and support to our Cincinnati members and community in the aftermath of a shooting at an Asian grocery store in Evendale. We send our love and support to our Columbus members and community affected by the recent passing of a South Asian family in Dublin due to interpersonal gun violence. We send our love and support to youth in our communities who have been among those most impacted by gun violence and mass shootings in recent decades, who have led the fight for safety in our public community spaces.
We share the collective grief for the loss of loved community members from these unfathomable tragedies. We also recognize the repetition of violence that we are collectively forced to endure. We refuse to be desensitized and acknowledge that we must yet again hold and move through this trauma together.
Each violent act intensifies the feelings of vulnerability and fear we’ve experienced for the last several years, as well as the traumas we’ve faced throughout our lives. We will not let violence take away what binds us together. We will not let fear determine how we move in this world. Shouldering the pain together and taking care of one another is how we honor our loved ones taken from us.
We know that our words alone cannot soothe the pain and heartache we are facing as a community. If you or someone you know is struggling with the emotional impact of these recent events, please reach out. OPAWL continues to commit to co-creating the solutions our AAPI communities have been calling for year after year, for a future where we are all safe and free from violence.