RELEASE: AAPIs Stand in Solidarity with the African American Community in Ferguson in the Weekend of Resistance

For Immediate Release

October 10, 2014
Chicago Contact: Nayoung Ha, KRCC, nayoung@chicagokrcc.org
National Contact: Healy Ko, NAKASEC, hko@nakasec.org

AAPIs Stand in Solidarity with the African American Community in Ferguson in the Weekend of Resistance

Chicago, IL– Today, the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC), its national organization, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), and a delegation from Chicago that includes the Black Youth Project, the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, and the Workers Center for Racial Justice will be traveling to Ferguson, Missouri for the Ferguson October Weekend of Resistance to address police brutality and stand in solidarity with the African American residents of Ferguson. A total of 54 people from Chicago are participating in this delegation.

Prior to their departure, Inhe Choi of KRCC, Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon of NAKASEC, DeAngelo Bester of the Workers Center for Racial Justice, and KRCC youth leader Allen Tu spoke at a press conference to share why they were going to Ferguson, and why it is important for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to stand in solidarity with the African American community in Ferguson.

Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American youth, was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, even though Brown was unarmed and had his hands up signaling surrender. As the community awaits the grand jury’s decision of whether Officer Wilson will be charged, KRCC, NAKASEC, and local community organizations will participate in the National Convergence in solidarity with Ferguson residents who are asking for nationwide support to demand justice for Michael Brown and the hundreds of other young, African American men who are victims of police brutality each year.

DJ Yoon of NAKASEC, Inhe Choi of KRCC, and Hee Joo Yoon of the Korean Resource Center (KRC) said: “What happened in Ferguson is happening in Chicago, in Los Angeles, in Detroit, in Beavercreek; all of our cities are Ferguson. Police are systematically targeting African American communities and youth because of their race, and this must stop now. As immigrants and a community of color, we can empathize with the heartbreak that comes with having a family separated by law enforcement. And we cannot be silent when these injustices are happening to our communities.”

Allen Tu, KRCC youth said: “I’m going to Ferguson because all lives matter regardless of skin color. And no one should have to fear for their lives when walking down the street.”

“We are very happy to be collaborating with KRCC to go down to Ferguson to address the issue of mass criminalization of people of color. This is an issue that affects all of our communities and has a chance to unite us in a deeper way,” said DeAngelo Bester, Executive Director of the Workers Center for Racial Justice.

Background on AAPI Support for Ferguson:

NAKASEC is a civil and immigrant rights organization that grew out of the Los Angeles Civil Unrest of 1992. After the four police officers who severely beat Rodney King were acquitted on almost all charges, the African American community of Los Angeles, similar to Ferguson, took to the streets to express their outrage and demand justice. During the unrest, many small businesses in Koreatown, primarily owned by Korean Americans, were damaged. Instead of responding to their calls for help, the police dispatched officers to guard the predominantly white and wealthy suburbs. Such naked disregard for the mostly working-class African Americans and immigrants in Los Angeles’ urban core awakened Korean Americans; we were a community of color now rooted in the United States, and it was time to build a strong and organized voice to advocate for social, economic, and racial justice. It is with this distinct, but shared experience of a community becoming empowered and coming together that NAKASEC and its affiliates align our work and root our struggle for social, economic and racial justice with the people of Ferguson, Missouri.

Information to get involved:

To view the AAPIs in Solidarity Call to Action, please visit: http://www.nakasec.org/3733.
To sign on to the statement of support: bit.ly/aapis4ferguson
To tweet messages of AAPI support, please use the following hashtags: #AAPIs4Ferguson #HandsUp #Ferguson #FergusonOctober

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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, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).