AAPI Pledge of Support
Dear Fellow Residents of Montgomery County and Greater Philadelphia,
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have watched as discriminatory and xenophobic rhetoric, verbal harassment, and physical violence has increased against Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals and families in our Commonwealth and across the country. On March 16, an individual in Georgia drove to multiple Asian-owned businesses in Asian neighborhoods to slay Asian women. This haunting intention has further highlighted the troubling and dangerous undercurrent that is invoking fear across Asian communities, and by extension, all communities.
On our screens, in the news, and in our communities, Asian American and Pacific Islanders are often misrepresented and underrepresented. The reasons are many and complex, the result and cause of a cycle of racism which we hope will be broken with this generation of leaders and community members. We invite and encourage you to educate yourself about the history of Asian violence and oppression in this country, engaging in conversation with Asian Americans and one another regarding this history and your experiences. In a time of increased hate and discrimination aimed at the Asian community, our goals are to give voice to those who are hurting and encourage all of us to be active bystanders who speak out and stand up for our neighbors. We ask that you join us in condemning any act that would seek to diminish the very humanity or safety of any person, understanding that the Asian community is in particular crisis.
Recognizing and advancing racial equity is an imperative foundation of any healthy community. Our aim is to continue taking steps to ensure the safety and security of our constituents and neighbors. We do not wish to stand idle in a time when it is apparent that much work is needed to create a more accepting, empathetic, and kind society. Let’s build coalitions and have conversations. We hope you will join us in this ongoing work; let us not wait for a national crisis to make change.
On the eve of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we seek solidarity, positivity, and action. We call on our community to join us in taking action to combat hate and intolerance in the face of a long-standing history of deeply complex efforts to erode the humanity of people of color. We ask that reach out to your municipal leaders to take steps to addressing harassment and discrimination in your community. We ask that you take this pledge to value and protect all individuals in our communities, keeping in mind the vulnerabilities of the Asian community members among us.
Are you with us? Pledge your support! We will honor all of your voices by publishing the results of this pledge in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
On behalf of a multicultural coalition of concerned residents and community leaders,
Jenna Antoniewicz, Mayor, Royersford Borough
Julia Park, Steering Committee, Community for Change;
Member, CAARSEA (Colonial Area Anti-Racism and Social Equity Alliance);
Susanna Ratsavong, Resident and Candidate for Commissioner, Springfield Township
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