In the days after two back-to-back mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, that killed a combined 18 Chinese, Asian American and Hispanic people and critically injured one other, several members of Michigan’s Asian American community gathered in Madison Heights, Michigan to hold a local vigil for the victims and those in the community affected by the tragedy.  

State Senator Stephanie Chang joined the vigil to speak about the need for gun reform legislation, while American Citizens for Justice Co-Founder Roland Hwang spoke about the need to “address the lack of mental health services that is so exposed by this carnage.” APIA Vote Michigan Executive Director Rebeka Islam and Rising Voices Co-Executive Director Jasmine Rivera were also in attendance with hopes that the local vigil would provide a safe space for the community and a pathway for healing. 

Full Transcript:

Will Glover, Producer, One Detroit:  Local Asian-American groups held a vigil in Madison Heights to remember the victims of mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California. Both tragedies involved members of the Asian-American community. And one of the shootings occurred at a Lunar New Year celebration.

State Senator Stephanie Chang, (D) 3rd District, Detroit: This gun violence is a public health crisis. It’s something that absolutely deserves our attention and our prioritization.

Bill Kubota, Producer, One Detroit: State Senator Stephanie Chang talking gun safety legislation following the mass shootings last week in California. Asian-American groups led a vigil in Madison Heights, regarded as the unofficial Asian town of metro Detroit.

Jasmine Rivera, Rising Voices: And we encourage everyone here, Asian-American or not, to reach out across lines to find one another and find not only consolation but also the resources and support that can provide a pathway of healing and safety for those who may be in crisis, who otherwise would turn to a gun or to violence.

Roland Hwang, American Citizens For Justice: We need to address the lack of mental health services that is so exposed by this carnage.

Unknown Speaker 1: It’s really warming to see everyone come out.

Rebeka Islam, APIA Vote Michigan: This is a time that we just really needed to hold space for our community that just something to heal together and just really just reflect on what just happened.

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