Statement on the Fight for Justice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

  • Mar 23, 2021
  • Melanie V. Ramil, Executive Director of Emerge California

We are heartsick.

One week ago, eight people – including six of our Asian sisters – were victims of white supremacy, misogyny, the fetishization of Asian women, and gun violence. The families and communities of these victims will never be the same. We will never be the same. Violence from a place of hate based solely on one’s identity disregards the humanity in each of us, and we will never tolerate or normalize it.

We must stand up against the systems that perpetuate racism, white supremacy, and misogyny. These systems excuse and minimize his behavior by telling us that he had a “bad day” and an addiction. These systems have worked hard to breathe more humanity into the man who murdered eight people instead of those who lost their lives that day. This is wrong, and we will not fall prey to these systems.

We say their names, and we ask you to do the same: Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels. (Learn how to pronounce their names here.)

We are mourning their loss, grieving with our community, and reeling not only from the fury of injustice but its predictability.

Yet, we remain hopeful.

The heaviness we feel is lightened by the movement we are in together. By the community and sisterhood we have created to ensure that leaders who look like us stand in solidarity. By the women we are training each and every day to fight for justice and equity.

This month, we held “Campaigning for Justice” training with the Class of 2021. We explored concepts of white supremacy, patriarchy, anti-racism, and misogyny, and then dug deep into what leadership looks like when you fight injustice. We affirmed the belief that we hold power to upend these systems and create real change.

We have centered equity and justice in our training like never before because we need women in office today to lead this fight. We need women leaders in the rooms where every decision is being made who will speak up against and call out white supremacy, and who will be bold enough to root out the injustice on which our systems have been built.

This is why we train Democratic women to run for elected office.

This is why we are intentional about recruiting women who reflect those they serve, and who know intimately the pain and struggles of their communities.

We do this work because we know that if equity and justice are to become the foundation of the world we live in, we must train and elect leaders who stand with us in this vision.

This is why we are committed to our movement more than ever. Thank you for standing in solidarity with us.

Melanie V. Ramil
Executive Director
Emerge California