The HWS community held a unity rally and vigil on Monday, April 5 on the steps of Coxe Hall.
On Monday, HWS community members gathered on the steps of Coxe Hall for a unity rally and vigil to call for an end to the surge in anti-Asian racism and violence. The vigil was organized by the Asian Student Association (ASA) and the South Asian Student Association (SASA).
The vigil honored the victims of the violent attack in Atlanta, Georgia that took the lives of eight people, including Asian and Asian American women, and critically injured another. ASU and SASA planned a candle lighting ceremony and a moment of silence that lasted for three minutes and 16 seconds, “the date that their precious lives were taken,” organizer Nuzhat Wahid ’22 says. In addition to statements by ASU and SASA, community members were invited to speak.
ASU and SASA have donated to the AAPI Community Fund, an effort to address urgent issues that face the AAPI community and broader systemic problems. They also support and want to bring public attention to the work of AAPI Women Lead and Stop AAPI Hate.
Wahid says the vigil was organized to recognize historic anti-Asian hate crimes and oppression in the United States and the increase in violence during the coronavirus pandemic. “We planned this event to initiate solidarity with our community members, and to show that this community will not tolerate that behavior,” Wahid says.
ASA and SASA student leaders, who helped organize the event, include: Mahdia Ahmed ’21, philosophy and political science double major and co-president of SASA; Katelyn Nguyen ’21, biology and economics double major and president of ASU; Sadia Rahman ’22, international relations major and co-president of SASA; Katerina Yacoub ’23, Alger Adams Scholar; and Nuzhat Wahid ’22, international relations and religious studies double major and secretary of SASA. Wahid is also a Student Trustee.