CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Members of the Charlotte community gathered in Uptown Sunday for a peace vigil organized by the Southeast Asian Coalition. The "Peace Vigil for Victims of Asian Hate" took place from 7 to 8 p.m. in Marshall Park.
Several people in attendance were holding signs; one read "DISARM HATE AND BIGOTRY." Additionally, those in attendance wrote in chalk on the sidewalks, lit candles, and gathered to reflect.
People have been gathering in cities across the country to honor and mourn the victims killed in the shootings in Atlanta-area spas last week. Six of the victims were Asian women.
Of the nine people shot, eight people lost their lives. These are their names:
- Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33
- Paul Andre Michels, 54
- Xiaojie Tan, 49
- Daoyou Feng, 44
- Soon Chung Park, 74
- Hyun Jung Grant, 51
- Sun Cha Kim, 69
- Yong Ae Yue
At many of the vigils and gatherings across the country, people have been calling for solidarity against hate and discrimination.
"It's got to end -- whether Black, white, Asian," one person in attendance in the Uptown Charlotte vigil said. "It can be overwhelming, so I just want to try to come to stuff like this and see the good."
A study from the group Stop AAPI Hate (AAPI stands for Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders) reveals that over the last year, nearly 4,000 anti-Asian incidents have been reported across all 50 states. Of those incidents, 68% involved verbal assaults, while 11% were physical attacks.
GoFundMe has launched a #StopAsianHate initiative which "provides a centralized, rallying point for those who want to donate and support." For those looking to help, the GoFundMe initiative contains fundraisers for the families of those killed in the Atlanta-area shootings, fundraisers for those impacted by violence against the AAPI community in other parts of the country, and more.