For Immediate Release
November 24, 2014
National Contact: Healy Ko, firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Contact: Emily Kessel, email@example.com
Illinois Contact: Inhe Choi, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAKASEC Outraged. Black Lives Matter.
Los Angeles, CA- The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates, the Korean Resource Center (KRC in Los Angeles and Orange County) and the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC in Chicago), are outraged that a grand jury decided to not indict Darren Wilson. Our hearts are heavy. Like anyone who takes a life, Wilson should face open and fair accountability for fatally shooting Michael Brown. Without justice, there can be no peace.
The disturbing and violent truth about the United States: racism still very much girds and informs a prejudiced system of perceptions, attitudes, and institutions. African Americans – regardless of age, gender, and orientation – are disproportionately targeted by the police and people acting out of unjustifiable fear. In the case of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford, Renisha McBride, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, and others, their families must grieve an unbearable loss because of that racial profiling.
In the wake of the murder of Michael Brown, young people, workers, parents, students, faith, LGBTQ, and others came together in Ferguson. When we were in Ferguson for the Weekend of Resistance in October 2014, we saw the next generation of leaders. Through their tireless work, they have showed the world their courage. All eyes are on Ferguson and these leaders are offering the world a different vision of what equality and democracy look like. We know they will continue to lead the way.
As a community that has dedicated years to advancing immigration reform, we were encouraged that some of our immigrant families would finally get relief through the President’s executive action. At least temporarily, these families do not have to worry about being torn apart. Yet tonight’s decision sent us a sobering message that there continues to be no relief for African American communities. We are thus more resolute that achieving true justice means that our community’s struggle for immigrant rights must be linked to justice for the family of Michael Brown, and to a larger movement for social change.
So, there is a choice in front of us. We need a justice system that protects everyone and respects our universal humanity. We urge Korean Americans and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to choose to be visible against racism, police brutality, and militarization of our communities. We urge Korean Americans and AAPIs to stand in solidarity with the residents of Ferguson, Missouri and to organize ourselves and with others.
And we call on our communities to not only take action tonight, tomorrow, or in the next few days at rallies and other events, but to also make eliminating racism and police brutality a goal to be practiced everyday. Within our own organizations, NAKASEC and its affiliates are grappling with what more we can do to engage Korean Americans and AAPIs. We always work side-by-side with the community, but when courageous leadership is needed, we are not afraid to push people to think critically because we believe in our beloved Korean American and AAPI communities.
NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC
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The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans on major social justice issues. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles and Orange County, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles and Orange County (Korean Resource Center).