DES MOINES, Iowa — Next week marks a month since the mass shooting in Atlanta where six Asian Americans lost their lives. A group of Iowans is determined to bring more awareness to the state.
This weekend concerned citizens will hold an Iowa Solidarity Rally promoting unity among the local Asian community and allies.
This event will take place on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sculpture Park.
The rally will feature a list of speakers sharing their experiences along with ways to raise awareness around major Asian hate crimes happening across the country.
Executive Director with the Iowa Asian Alliance, Nu Huynh, said seeing community members become more involved has been refreshing.
“Organizers that are very concerned and saying ‘okay, I don’t represent a certain organization. This is not my job. But, my friends are impacted, my own parents are being impacted. I myself don’t want this to be the environment that we live every day in fear. So I’m going to do something about it.’ So absolutely it is, it is motivating and it’s wonderful to see,” Huynh said.
Since the mass shooting in Atlanta last month, Iowa Asian Alliance said they’ve gotten a great amount of support from central Iowa, even receiving a $4,000 donation from the local restaurant, Lucky Lotus.
Iowa Asian Alliance has also partnered with the Filipino American Society to host free self-defense classes this weekend.
According to Huynh, although there have not been any targeted fatal crimes against Asian Americans in Iowa, IAA is working to be proactive to make sure it stays that way.
“We don’t want to sit by and wait for something to happen,” Huynh said. “We don’t want to sit by and wait for that more violent attack or someone to lose a life out of this.”