YWCA Greenwich Statement on Georgia Shooting and Increased Violence Against AAPI Community

YWCA Greenwich grieves and stands in solidary with the Asian American community. The race-based and gender-based gun violence that took the lives of 8 people—6 of Asian descent and 7 women—in Georgia was an act of terror. Tuesday’s events are yet another reminder that racism and gender oppression are pervasive in this country, with consequences that determine not only the trajectory and quality of people’s lives, but also whether they live or die. Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit organization that tracks cases of discrimination, hate and xenophobia against the AAPI community, reports that nearly 3,800 hate incidents targeting Asians have occurred in the last year, creating fear, sadness, and anger. Like so many acts of race-based and gender-based violence, we know these reported events are but a fraction of what is being experienced.

Tuesday’s tragedy deepens YWCA Greenwich’s dedication to our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women and girls. And like Dr. King we are driven by the “fierce urgency of now” to end white nationalism, misogyny, and the violence that fuels each. Because these ideologies continue to be ignored and denied, racism finds safe harbor in our schools, workplaces, relationships, entertainment, and government policies. All those who identify as women, whether they are transgender or cis-gender, are still met with harassment and violence in their homes, at work, and on public streets.

We know the tentacles of hate are far-reaching and exist in Greenwich and throughout Connecticut. We commit to our community to raise up, condemn, and work against the racism and gender oppression. As such, we call on policymakers to address the rising tide of hate crimes in America, and to take swift action on common sense solutions like the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the NO Hate Act. We join our racial justice and gender equity allies in demanding justice for the AAPI community. And we call on all Americans to resist ill-informed, biased perspectives about Asian Americans and all people of Asian descent.

Important Terminology

  • AAPI: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
  • Cisgender: A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth. (Human Rights Campaign)
  • Misogyny: Hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women, manifested in various forms such as physical intimidation and abuse, sexual harassment and rape, social shunning, and ostracism, etc.; ingrained and institutionalized prejudice against women. (Dictionary.com)
  • Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. (Human Rights Campaign)
  • White Nationalism: The belief, theory, or doctrine that white people are inherently superior to people from all other racial and ethnic groups, and that in order to preserve their white, European, and Christian cultural identities, they need or deserve a segregated geographical area, preferential treatment, and special legal protections. (Dictionary.com)