APA Organizations Unite to Support Sikh Community

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A vigil was held Sunday in San Francisco’s Union Square for the shooting victims. Among those representing the Japanese American community were (from left) Rev. Ron Kobata, Kay Nomura, Doug Yamamoto and Greg Marutani. (Photo courtesy of JACL)

WASHINGTON — The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) have established a joint fund to raise money to support the victims of the mass shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

Six people were killed and three others, including a police officer, were wounded on Aug. 5. The gunman, a white supremacist, took his own life.

Greg Marutani of San Francisco JACL signs a banner that will be sent to the Sikh temple in Oak Creek along with origami cranes. (Photo by Kay Nomura)

The two organizations will work with their national partners in the Sikh American community, including South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) and Sikh American Education and Legal Defense Fund (SALDEF), to establish the fund.

The leadership of the JACL and OCA, in conjunction with Sikh American partner organizations, will work collectively to determine one or more nonprofit organizations to allocate the funds to, based on need and potential impact.

Contributions to the fund will be used to support the victims of the shooting and their families. All contributions are tax-deductible and will be used to defray the costs of medical bills, funeral expenses, psychological counseling and sustaining the lives of the family members left behind.

To contribute to the fund, visit www.jacl.org or www.ocanational.org. Donations for this fund will be collected until Aug. 31.

“In the past several days, our members from across the country have expressed a desire to show their support for the victims of the shooting,” said JACL Executive Director Priscilla Ouchida. “We’re thrilled to be able to partner with and OCA as well as the Sikh American community leadership to provide our members and supporters with a way to show our support for all of those affected by this tragedy.”

“This fund reflects our collective value to ensure that all members of the Asian Pacific American community is supported especially in times of tragedy,” affirmed Ken Lee, president of OCA.

“As a pan-Asian civil rights organization, out of this very unfortunate incident, we draw inspiration to continue our fight against all forms of hate crimes and to stand by our Sikh sisters and brothers in this very difficult time,” stated Tom Hayashi, executive director of OCA.

In addition to donating to the fund, members and supporters of JACL and OCA were asked to show their support by participating in the national Moment of Reflection on Aug. 12. At a gathering in San Francisco’s Union Square, Japanese American participants passed out origami cranes and signed a banner — reading “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the world” — to be sent to the temple in Oak Creek.

Those wishing to send a message of support to the Sikh American community can do so online at www.groundswell-movement.org/.

A vigil was held Sunday in Fremont, Alameda County, where a Sikh temple is located. Fremont JACL President Alan Mikuni was among the attendees. (Photo courtesy of JACL)

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