Community Announces #StopAsianHate Rally

Morgan Hastain, News Editor

On Saturday, April 10 from 3 to 5 p.m., Ms. Norris, Minnechaug English teacher and advisor of the Diversity and Culture Club, will be co-hosting a community #stopasianhate rally at the Wilbraham United Church in order to not only support the Asian American Pacific Islander Community, but honor the victims of Asian hate crimes, as well as raise awareness. 

According to an analysis released by the Center of the Study of Hate and Extremism, anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 150% in 2020, the first official spike being in March and April of last year. Many theorize that the use of racist and xenophobic language by government officials during the Covid-19 pandemic could have added fuel to the fire. 

Families, community members, and current and former students are already planning to attend the event. Participants are encouraged to bring signs, but there will be supplies to make one if necessary. The most important thing, however, is to bring an open mind and the urge to listen to speakers and experiences. 

“Bring humility and a willingness to listen,” said Norris 

Ms. Norris originally got the idea when she and the Diversity and Culture Club members attended a workshop that supported Asian American students. She believed that, as a teacher and community member, that it was her responsibility to organize an environment where similar voices could be heard. 

“…The Diversity and Culture club kids and I attended an online conference last week on social justice; at a workshop on Supporting Asian American students during the pandemic, a student from another district shared a video of himself speaking at a #stopasianhate rally in his town, and that’s where I got the idea,” said Norris. “I realized it was my responsibility and within my power to organize a rally where similar voices could be shared. I reached out to a community member in Wilbraham who organized a rally in support of Black lives last summer, Renee Bracey, and she and I are working together on this.”

The overall goal of this rally is to spread awareness, strengthen the community, share marginalized voices, and make connections so we can all fight against hate together. If you are interested, there is a Facebook page that will post continuous updates about the event.

Facebook link here!: