AACI: Silence Is Not an Option

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SAN JOSE — The following statement was issued June 5 by Sarita Kohli, president and CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement.

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The murder of George Floyd has sparked outrage and a deep sorrow felt across our country. On the heels of the COVID pandemic, racial inequities have been spotlighted more than ever before. As our community mourns, reflects, and mobilizes, AACI holds firm to its roots in advocacy and social justice. How our community responds now is a defining moment in our history.

Sarita Kohli

AACI stands in solidarity with the Black community in condemning hatred, injustice, and all forms of racism. The senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are only the most recent evidence of a long history of persistent, systemic racism in America. These incidents have occurred in the midst of a pandemic that has only amplified racial and ethnic disparities that disproportionately affect communities of color.

We must continue to call out racism and injustice everywhere. We must acknowledge the pain and trauma of others and speak up when it is uncomfortable. We must check our own implicit biases. We must collectively accept the need for change and continue to advocate for inclusive policies and equity in resources. We must stand on the right side of history. Silence is not an option. AACI stands in solidarity with those who are oppressed, are victims of injustice, and have been marginalized for too long.  

AACI reaffirms its commitment to ensure each one of our clients, staff, supporters, volunteers, and community members feels safe, valued, respected and heard. Most recently, AACI has taken steps to impact policies to bring about more equity:

AACI advocated for the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to collect and publicize disaggregated health data by race, ethnicity and geographic location so we may respond to the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 affecting black and brown communities.

AACI signed on to the Open Letter to Community developed by Asian organizations in Minnesota, calling for unity and solidarity in the face of violence.

AACI joined the newly formed Health and Racial Equity Task Force, charged with addressing inequities and directing interventions to communities that need them most.

We all have the power and responsibility to make a difference, whether it be attending a protest, educating ourselves and our children about race, lifting up Black businesses, art, and voices, participating in the censusregistering to vote, and more.

You can also support and amplify the work of Black-run organizations in the region (listed in the joint statement by SVCN and Thrive Alliance), as well as support the many organizations doing work on the ground, such as Reclaim the Block and Black Vision Collective.

May we continue to stand in solidarity, call out racism, lead with compassion, and take action toward racial justice.

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