SLCC Students Hold Vigil For Victims Of Atlanta Shootings

Mar 20, 2021, 10:36 AM | Updated: 10:42 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A large group gathered on the steps outside of Salt Lake Community College to remember the eight victims who were shot and killed in the Atlanta area.

Students and allies held a large banner that said “Love and Solidarity.”

“A lot of times, people feel like they are living in a community where they don’t belong — because of how people treat them,” said Nadia Yahyapour, Asian American student representative at SLCC. “It’s important we treat people how we want to be treated. We should treat them like they belong and not like an outsider. Remember viewing race is not and should not be just from your point of view.”

Yahyapour and other students spoke to the crowd about the rising attacks against Asian Americans.

According to data compiled by California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, 16 of the country’s most populous cities saw an increase of almost 150% in hate crimes against Asian Americans in 2020.

Police continue to investigate the Atlanta shootings. Six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent.

Victims included a new mother taking a rare break from caring for her baby girl. Another was a single mother who worked to support her two sons. Another was a United States Army veteran who installed security systems in the Atlanta area.

“My reaction was, ‘Here we go again — it’s happening again,’ because this has happened so many times before,” Yahyapour said. “We have a problem. We love to Americanize culture here in the states, tweak it, and then we love it — why can’t we love culture the way it is?”

Young mother Clarysa Park attended Friday’s vigil. She held a sign listing the names of the Atlanta shooting victims.

“It’s threatening, it’s scary — it’s isolating,” Park said. “President Trump started calling this the ‘Kung Flu’ and ‘China Virus.’ Right then I was like he is putting a target on our backs. And many are fearful.”

One woman took the microphone, citing she is high risk and therefore hasn’t left her home very often over the past year.

“But I came out today. When I heard my colleagues and my friends were hurting. It was a perfect time to come — to join in solidarity.”

The advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate said it’s received more than 3,100 reported incidents of aggression targeting Asian Americans between March and December 2020. The elderly and women were disproportionately attacked.

“In our culture, our elders are valued and mean a tremendous amount to us,” said Sepa Faupula, president of the Asian Student Association at SLCC. “That’s where these hate attacks started. They were committed against our elders.”

Those in attendance urged others to listen to understand.

“It means so much to us to be heard. Because often in America, Asian issues are overlooked and swept under the rug,” Faupula said. “We all have a right to life, to happiness and freedom. Empathy will heal.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Michael Houck

Backcountry skier dies after slipping, falling near Lisa Falls

A man is dead after tumbling a "significant distance" while backcountry skiing in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday.
19 hours ago
USU student Max Shulga during Saturday night's game....
Shelby Lofton

Utah State community responds to ‘Russia’ chants directed at Ukrainian player

Some USU students say that the Colorado State University students crossed a line that goes beyond simple trash talk during a game.
19 hours ago
The collapsed awning at the Wing Pointe Apartments (Heber City Police Department)...
Michael Houck

Snow collapses awning at a Heber apartment complex

Six cars were trapped under a collapsed awning after the Sunday afternoon snowfall. 
19 hours ago
Image of the scene where police witnessed a wrong-way driver crash in Salt Lake City (Salt Lake Cit...
Chandler Holt, KSL Newsradio

SLCPD officer witnesses wrong-way drunk driver crash into embankment

A Salt Lake City police officer witnessed the truck crossing the medium several times before losing control and crashing into an embankment Saturday night.
19 hours ago
Randy Martin working on a reading station in West Valley City. (KSL-TV's Mike Anderson)...
Mike Anderson

Utah air quality is continuing to get worse, says USU professor

A Utah State University professor says that Utahns are breathing some of the worst air we've seen in over a decade.
2 days ago
The area where first responders rescued the two people (Weber Fire District)...
Michael Houck

Two rescued from Pineview Reservoir after falling through ice

Officials are warning residents of thin ice after two people needed rescuing from the Pineview Reservoir Saturday morning. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
SLCC Students Hold Vigil For Victims Of Atlanta Shootings