WRIC: Community members, leaders gather in Henrico to honor victims of Atlanta spa shootings

WRIC, LAURA PERROT

Crowds gathered tonight at Short Pump Park for the Stop the Hate Rally, held in response to the killing of 8 people at spas in Atlanta. Groups put together the rally to mourn the honor the victim’s lives and fight for change.

The Asian American Society of Central Virginia, the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce, OCA Central Virginia Chapter, Korean-American Society of Greater Richmond and Henrico County came together to put on the event.

“Virginia is for lovers. We just want to make sure we can keep the love in Virginia,” said Mahmud Chowdhury of the Asian American Society of Central Virginia.

A flyer shared by event organizers called for the end of hate crimes against Asians and for unity among all Americans.

Many signs held by people in attendance carried the message “Stop Asian Hate.”

The event was attended by multiple state and local leaders including Attorney General Mark Herring and Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

“There is a common thread that ties the anti-Asian and Pacific Islander community, the hate that people have experienced so much over the last year, with the hate that other vulnerable communities have experienced and it is 400 years of white supremacy, and it has to come to an end,” Herring said.

The attorney general pointed Virginians to the website, No Hate VA, where they can report hate crimes and learn more about state and federal laws.

Mona Siddiqui, deputy chief diversity officer in the Governor’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hinted at an opportunity for voices to be heard on a larger scale.

“I invite you to be a part of those conversations, those conversations that will move us from individual experiences to making a collaborative impact together. So stay tuned for more information on this,” said Siddiqui.

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