Will We Ever Reach A Point Where ‘Never Again’ Comes True?
May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month #AAPIHeritageMonth. We wanted to take this moment to reaffirm our support of the Asian American Pacific Islander Community and share our recent post in response to the surge in hate, discrimination, and violence this past year and recent months. We have added more information to take action to support our AAPI friends and neighbors and have included the inspiring artwork seen across NYC transport hubs and now at Lincoln Center by multidisciplinary artist, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya.
Asian American Pacific Islander Community Support Statement:
As a community of individuals that works together to bring health equity and human dignity to all, the widespread, persistent attacks and senseless murders of innocent members of our community, including the Asian American Pacific Islander and the Boulder, Colorado communities, make no sense to us. We are, quite honestly, overcome with emotion and pain.
With more gun violence and mass shootings of innocent adults and children reported these past months, including here in California, Atlanta, at our Capitol in DC, and many other cities, the relentless cadence is honestly exhausting, and it’s hard to find adequate words to respond. The lack and loss of humanity is heartbreaking. Clearly, change is long overdue. Will we ever reach a point where “never again” comes true? Words can’t bring people back to life. At best, this pain can bring greater empathy, a deeper understanding of one another, and a movement towards change where every single human life is considered valuable and worth protecting – more so than guns.
For now, please know this: Ritter Center condemns racism, hate, and violence in all forms. With all of our hearts, we stand united with Asian American Pacific Islander communities. Together we will do our best to continue to fight for a shared future that treats all humans with respect and gives every person the chance to live a healthy and safe life.
With peace and love,
Mark Shotwell, Executive Director & All the Staff at Ritter Center
- https://anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/ – the Anti-Asian Violence Resources website has aggregated statistics, news articles, nonprofits to support, mental health resources, petitions to Congress, related movements, ways to report incidents, social media movements, and more.
- For activities and information about AAPI Heritage Month, visit: asianpacificheritage.gov, PBS, NPS, U.S. Department of Education
The artwork above is by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, a multidisciplinary artist and Artist in Residence at the NYC Commission on Human Rights. Titled “I Still Believe in Our City,” Amanda created a public art installation in response to the wave of anti-Asian discrimination that erupted during the COVID-19 pandemic to “turn these hurts into something beautiful and powerful.” The 45-piece series initially appeared in the Atlantic Avenue subway station in Brooklyn at the end of 2020, then across NYC transportation areas in the following months. Read more in this NYT article.
Building upon the “I Still Believe in Our City” art campaign Amanda created with the NYC Commission on Human Rights, a new series titled “We Belong Here” at the Lincoln Center to “offer Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders a respite from grief, a moment of peace, and a sense of pride and hope amidst the brutal attacks and harassment their community has endured.” – Lincoln Center.