FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 17, 2021
Contact: Ashley C. Sawyer | 718-857-1393 ext. 124 | firstname.lastname@example.org
We release this statement in a time of mourning and pain. We join the world in mourning the deaths of 8 people killed in the Atlanta area on March 16, 2021, 6 of whom were Asian people. Each time there is a violent, racially motivated loss of life; there are parents, siblings, children, partners, cousins, friends, co-workers, and neighbors who are left to pick up the pieces. The Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) community is centering those people in our hearts, and we will be looking for opportunities to support them and meet their needs in the coming days.
From what we know at the time of releasing this statement, 6 of the 8 people killed were Asian women, 4 of whom were Korean. Attacks on women have made up the majority of the incidents of anti-Asian violence over the past year. In fact, according to Stop AAPI Hate, of the thousands of reports of anti-Asian discrimination and violence that they received since March 2020, attacks on women made up 68 percent. What happened in Georgia is another example of the unacceptable attacks on the safety and well-being of Asian-American people and immigrants. During the past year, there were vicious statements attacking the Asian-American community from people in the highest places of government. Those statements exist as a part of a long legacy of white supremacy, racism, and imperialism, including the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment camps, and U.S. aggression in countries like Korea and Vietnam. This is not a new phenomenon in the U.S., but rather woven into the fabric of this nation’s history.
If we are to fight against white supremacy, misogyny, and classism effectively, we must acknowledge that the people targeted for these attacks were low-wage service workers. The discrimination against and maltreatment of service workers, including sex workers, creates conditions that cause them to be consistent targets of interpersonal and state violence. Already, the lives of those lost have been trivialized, with the New York Times reporting that the killings took place in what neighbors called a “red-light district.” We reject any attempts to devalue the lives of cisgender and transgender women and girls for any reason.
GGE youth and staff are committed to dismantling systems of oppression through our organizing and supporting the healing and care for the people who have been harmed through our culture-shifting work. We stand in solidarity with Asian communities, immigrants, and the people doing the work to challenge white supremacy and misogyny. We want young people to know that their pain and fear are honored here, as well as their demands for a country where this type of violence cannot happen. We will look for ways to gather resources for healing and point our supporters in the direction of calls to action that they can support. We hope that you will join us.
Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is an intergenerational organization committed to the physical, psychological, social and economic development of girls and women, particularly cisgender and transgender girls and gender non-conforming/non-binary (GNC/NB) youth of color. Through direct service, policy & organizing, and culture change, GGE encourages communities to remove systemic barriers and create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives.