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University of Akron hosts online vigil against anti-Asian violence

The vigil is being held to "mourn the lives lost and to express solidarity and to share the perspective of Asian Americans."
Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 13, 2021, file photo, Chinese-Japanese American student Kara Chu, 18, holds a pair of heart balloons decorated by herself for the rally "Love Our Communities: Build Collective Power" to raise awareness of anti-Asian violence outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. The shootings at three Georgia massage parlors and spas Tuesday, March 16, that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent, come on the heels of a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans since the coronavirus first entered the United States. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

AKRON, Ohio — *Editor's Note: The video in the player above originally aired on March 17, 2021. 

The nation is coming to grips with the shooting death of eight people at three Atlanta-area spas that took place on Tuesday. Six of the eight victims were members of the Asian community, causing many to call the incident a hate crime. Police have said they are investigating if the killings are racially motivated.  

In response to the killings, the University of Akron is hosting an online vigil against anti-Asian violence on Friday, March 19 at 7 p.m. The vigil is being held to "mourn the lives lost and to express solidarity and to share the perspective of Asian Americans," the University said in a press release.  

The vigil will begin with opening remarks from Brant T. Lee, J.D., professor of law and Assistant Dean of Diversity & Social justice initiatives at The University of Akron. Mr. Lee will also serve as the vigil's moderator. 

Following opening remarks, the vigil will allow for personal stories from representatives speaking to their personal, professional and daily life experiences. 

The event will then allow for statements of support from representatives of local and regional organizations.

The vigil will then conclude with a moment of reflection. 

Those attending the vigil are asked to light a candle and have it visible during the event.

According to the University of Akron, the vigil is being widely supported and the list of local and regional organizations planning to attend continues to grow. At the time of publishing, the following  organizations had confirmed their attendance: 

  • The University of Akron Office of Inclusion and Equity
  • The University of Akron School of Law
  • Rethinking Race at The University of Akron
  • The University of Akron Office of Multicultural Development
  • The University of Akron Pan African Studies Department
  • Asian Services in Action (ASIA)
  • International Institute of Akron
  • Akron NAACP
  • Akron Civil Rights Commission
  • United Way of Summit & Medina
  • League of Women Voters of Akron and of Hudson
  • Akron Area Interfaith Council
  • Fair Housing Contact Services
  • OCA Greater Cleveland - Asian Pacific American Advocates
  • OPAWL: Building AAPU Feminist Leadership
  • MotivAsians Cleveland
  • Dimensions of Isms
  • AsiaTown Cleveland
  • University Settlement
  • UA School of Law Social Justice Fellows
  • Akron Interfaith Immigration Advocates
  • Asian Evergreen Apartments

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