We write to you to share that Cambridge Local First stands in solidarity with the AAPI community. This has been a difficult week for many members of our community. The shooting of eight people in Georgia, including six women of Asian descent, is the latest escalation in a surge of anti-Asian attacks over the past year. This targeted attack has also exposed the complex and painful intersection between racism and misogyny that affects minority groups throughout the United States. Cambridge Local First joins our Asian and Asian American community in solidarity and mourning over the shootings in the Atlanta area. The tragic losses of Daoyou Feng, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and Yong Ae Yue are a stark reminder that our work to protect people from racially motivated attacks is urgent. Anti-Asian abuse is not just a problem in other states. The Greater Boston area is no exception to these trends. Boston has had a long history of discrimination against Asian Americans — violence rose to a boiling point in 1987, as detailed by this report. In Boston, the number of hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased by 150%. In Cambridge, there have been at least 16 acts of physical and verbal abuse reported by the Asian American community, according to IAmNotAVirus.net, a platform created by Harvard graduate students Boram Lee and Ja Young Choi. We must work together to #StopAsianHate and combat racism in all its forms. Cambridge Local First is striving to provide an inclusive space for reflection, discussion and allyship. This includes creating open spaces for conversation in our bi-weekly community conversation series, focusing on supporting our AAPI-owned businesses, and growing diversity in all spaces, including our Board of Directors, our Advisory Board, our staff, our membership, and our internship. We encourage you to join ongoing conversations in Cambridge and Boston on expanding equity and anti-Asian racism. Tomorrow, the Cambridge Public Library Foundation will host author Ta-Nehisi Coates as part of its Voices for Justice series, expanding equity, inclusion, and antiracism work. On Thursday, there’s a Massachusetts Town Hall on Anti-Asian Racism, co-hosted by nonprofits Greater Boston Legal Services, South Asian Workers’ Center, and Asian Women for Health. We also encourage you to read the recently published Cambridge Day op-ed by one of our interns, Daniel Wang, on the role that the media has played in recent hate crimes against the AAPI community. We are grateful to Daniel for his contributions to this hugely important conversation.
We hope that you will join us in standing in solidarity with our cherished Asian and Asian American community in Cambridge!!
Theodora Skeadas, Executive Director, Cambridge Local First