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Not In Our Town, Bloomington-Normal leaders stand with Asian American community in wake of violence

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BLOOMINGTON — Several community members, including elected officials and leaders in education, religious and community organizations, called for an end to violence, standing in support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in a statement issued Tuesday.

Led by Not In Our Town and Not In Our Schools, the statement reads “We are a better and a stronger people when we celebrate the human gifts of every individual.”

“Our human fabric was torn again” in the fatal attacks on March 16 in Atlanta that resulted in the deaths of Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Hyun Jung Grant, Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim and Yong Ae Yue.

Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz is also listed among the deceased victims in the NIOT/NIOS statement, though reports indicate he survived the attack.

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“We say and celebrate their names. Too many people are dying of mass shootings in this nation. Daily we face stark headlines, a reminder to our nation and our world that tragedy strikes again and takes our innocent friends and neighbors. Our Asian-American neighbors have been targeted not just with this killing, but with numerous attacks in the past year. These are shameful and not who we are as a human family,” the statement says.

Those who signed “call for an end to violence, an end to discrimination based on age, race, national origin, gender or sexual identity.”

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“We embrace all our neighbors in McLean County as vital to our community, enriching us all with their spirit and their gifts.”

Several educators are named among the co-signers, including representatives from Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Heartland Community College, Bloomington District 87, McLean County Unit 5 and the Chinese American Educational Research and Development Association.

Elected officials include state Rep. Dan Brady, Mayor Tari Renner, each member of the Bloomington City Council, Mayor Chris Koos, Town Councilmember Chemberly Cummings, McLean County Board member Sharon Chung and the Normal Human Rights Commission.

Bloomington-Normal NAACP denounces violence in wake of Atlanta shootings

Several community and religious organizations also signed the statement, as well as Carle BroMenn Medical Center.

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Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.


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