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Statement from YMCA of the USA President and CEO Kevin Washington on Violence Against Asian Pacific Islanders

Anti-Asian sentiment has deep roots in our country, dating back centuries, and sadly it has grown stronger since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States. Violence against Asian Pacific Islanders has risen at an appalling rate during the past year – exceeding 3,000 incidents nationwide according to Stop AAPI Hate Opens a new window – driven by hate, racism and ignorance. Too often the targets of this violence have been the elderly or marginalized, including Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old San Francisco man who died after being shoved to the street in a random attack, and 19-year-old Christian Hall, who was shot and killed by police officers in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, while experiencing a mental health crisis.

As a leading national nonprofit with global reach, an inclusive mission and a commitment to becoming an anti-racist, multicultural organization, the Y condemns this violence in the strongest possible terms. We stand with all Asian Pacific Islanders and especially those who are part of the Y family. Our country and our organization are better because of their spirit, strength and unique contributions to American society.

Violence against Asian Pacific Islanders deserves our nation’s attention and outrage and demands action. The Y works every day in communities across the country to create understanding among people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives and ensure all people, no matter who they are or where they come from, have the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. We urge every American to join us in advancing inclusion for all and eliminating hate.

Kevin Washington
President and CEO
YMCA of the USA

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

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