Students held an “AAPI Youth Voices for Change Rally” at city hall in Pasadena, California, on Saturday.
The rally, which was hosted by the organization AAPI Youth Action, featured a student open mic as well as speeches from local community leaders. Rep. Judy Chu, Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo and state Sen. Anthony Portantino were among those who appeared at the event, Pasadena Now reported.
According to the rally’s Eventbrite page, the event first began with sign and poster-making at Day One, a community nonprofit. Demonstrators then marched to Pasadena City Hall.
Sophie Pang, a student organizer, told Pasadena Now that being afraid for her grandparents’ safety inspired her to plan the rally, which was attended by about 75 people. The news, she said, was full of incidents where Asian Americans were attacked.
“I felt like I needed to do something,” Pang said.
Pang implored people to speak up against the violence and report hate crimes, Pasadena Now reported.
Chu praised President Joe Biden’s efforts to support the AAPI community, highlighting his early denunciation of anti-Asian violence. Chu, the chairperson of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, helped promote the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act that Biden signed into law in May, according to NPR.
“We have an important partner advocating on our behalf,” Chu said, “and that is President Biden.”
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