HANSON — All ages and races joined in unity along the Town Hall sidewalks, Friday, April 2, armed with signs of peace and awareness to denounce hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
In light of recent random and calculated attacks throughout the nation including the March 17, Atlanta, Georgia murders of eight Asian Americans have raised the level of awareness of hatred against the Asian population, which has been on the rise nationwide during the pandemic.
Event organizer Marianne Dimascio Donohue of Hanson was moved by the recent violence against Asian Americans and she set out to show that there is no room for hate in Hanson.
“I was outraged by the killings in Atlanta and other Asian hate and violence that have been happening,” said Dimascio Donohue.
How will the community keep the ball rolling in the right direction against hate?
“I think that this year… so much has happened and people are really ready to take action not just sit back anymore but I feel like the energy here (we have high school students who started a social action club) and I just feel like people are really outraged by what is going on,” she said. “I hope we can capitalize on that and keep things moving and not just have this one off event.”
Teacher Ashley Balbian, who is also the advisor of the Social Justice and Activism club at Whitman-Hanson, was joined by colleagues and several students from the club at the April 2 rally.
“Participants attended the anti-hate rally on Friday to speak up and publicly show our support for our Asian American friends at W-H. It is especially important to us that we help amplify injustices we see taking place in our country and feel that starting in small places like W-H is where we can make the most impact,” Balbian said. “We hope to help educate our community by participating in events like the rally and further offer opportunities for students at our meetings.”
The W-H clubs mission strives to foster a safe and accepting Panther community within the school and beyond by empowering youth through projects that focus on serving, understanding and educating one another. While reflecting on the past and present, our club engages in conversations regarding issues of injustice and inequity and how we can move forward in creating a better world for all, she said.
Attacks have escalated in light of the COVID-19 virus, which was determined to have originated from China. The skyrocketing anti-Asian violence has become a topic at the forefront but the behavior is not by any means new.
Lidy Chan attended the rally and resides in Foxboro she attended with friend Juvy Hartweg, of Hanson, both women are of Filipino heritage. She felt it was time to stand up for her race and others who endure hate because of their ethnicity.
“Because we have been victimized for a long time and we have just been quiet and I think enough is enough. It is time for us to take action. I am just glad that each community is doing something like this (inaudible) a peaceful vigil.”
To read more about Chan’s nonprofit national outreach visit Chan migrated to the United States in the early 90s. She works with several non-profit organizations and as a community coordinator is heavily involved in outreach for underserved and at risk communities.
National Federation of Filipino American Associations – Filipino American Solidarity. One Voice, Four Million Strong. (naffaa.org)
NAFFAA.org National Organization