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Perrysburg community hosts: “Stop Asian Hate” vigil

Members of Perrysburg’s Coalition for Inclusion and Social Justice hosted a vigil at Woodlands Park to combat Asian discrimination and hate.
Published: Apr. 3, 2021 at 11:16 PM EDT
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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - In a line of support, Perrysburg men, women, and children traveled across Woodlands Park to symbolize what it’s like to walk in the shoes of an Asian American.

“Some people will yell go back to your country… but I’m an American too,” said Weixin Li. “This is my country as well.”

First-generation American and President of the Chinese Association of Greater Toledo, Weixin Li believes there’s strength in numbers.

“Together we unite our community to speak out our concerns to make sure the American dream I came here for 20 years ago actually stands,” said Li.

Staff with Perrysburg’s Coalition for Inclusion and Social Justice say they decided to host Saturday’s event following an explosion of anti-Asian sentiment during the pandemic, including nationwide physical attacks, such as Atlanta’s spa shooting that left 8 people dead. Colation members read the names of the victims whose lives were lost to the crowd.

“I think ultimately movements are based around people,” said concerned citizen Merwin Siu. “I think it’s always important to remember people, and so hearing the names read was very meaningful to me.”

Activists of all ages shared speeches, poems, and perspectives with one another. Bowling Green State University student Leon Wang believes the crowd in attendance Saturday, will one day become the people who will shape tomorrow’s future.

“I would like for the children to not experience the words that I’ve experienced,” said Wang. “I would like kids to learn more about my culture and the reason we are here.”

Speakers also addressed how to attempt to stop the hate by sharing resources that are available across the globe as well as right here in Northwest Ohio that can be used to report racial injustices or to learn more information about other cultures such as the Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo, Perrysburg Coalition for Inclusion and Social Justice, and Not In Our Town Bowling Green.

Wang says educating and unifying the public is a step in the right direction.

“I think there’s a lot of work and a lot of things that still need to be done, a lot more support that needs to be shown, but today is a small step towards that,” said Wang.

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