(CBS4)– A recent shooting rampage at spas near Atlanta that left 6 Asian women dead has Colorado’s Asian American community on high alert. On Thursday, Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations came together for a virtual town hall to voice their fears and frustrations.
Winnie Pham was born in Vietnam but grew up in Colorado. Her family moved to the United States 20 years ago.
“I don’t feel as safe as I used to,” Pham told CBS4’s Andrea Flores. “It’s terrifying because my parents are salon owners as well and this really hit close to home, seeing working-class Asian Americans being targeted like this.”
Pham and other members of CORE, Community Organizing for Radical Empathy, arranged the virtual town hall to address anti-Asian violence.
“We had initially planned this town hall a few weeks ago actually because we saw this rise in Asian hate crimes, and coincidentally this week we saw some massive incidents happen, so this town hall is supposed to serve as space for our community to gather and process and heal,” Pham said.
At least 400 people logged on to voice their concerns.
“I don’t think people realize how deep this runs,” said Pham. “There’s so much history behind these racially motivated issues that we’re seeing, and even I’m still learning about my own history.”
As CORE continues to work toward solutions, Pham has a message for her fellow Coloradans.
“If you see something, say something,” said Pham. “This is a community issue and we’re going to handle it together as a community.”