TORRANCE (CBSLA) — A vigil was held on Friday to promote solidarity in the Asian American Pacific Islander community following an increase in violent crimes against AAPI individuals. Several healthcare workers were among the attendees.
Organizer Lucky Longoria read a poem during a vigil to promote solidarity at Providence Little Company of Mary, where she works as a pediatric nurse.
“Racism is a healthcare issue. And I think in the last year, it’s become a crisis,” Longoria said.
That crisis according to the group Stop AAPI Hate has been nearly 3,800 reports of incidents involving hate against Americans of Asian descent in the past year, including in the Bay Area, LA’s Koreatown, the Atlanta spa shootings and last month’s attack on an elderly woman in New York City.
Staff members at the Torrance hospital brought their family in allyship.
“I’ve taken this past year to home school my kids and our major focus has been on racism, anti-racism,” said NICU nurse Trisha Loftis.
Ludy Chang, a nurse who brought her sister to the event, says the AAPI community has been suffering in silence for too long.
“Being a nurse. We don’t pick color. We don’t pick who we take care of,” Chang said.
Others echoed a similar sentiment about their reasoning for attending the vigil.
“That’s why I’m here. We want to be heard. We want to be supported,” said Lerisa Ong Barzabal.
As Longoria states, combating racism cannot be done passively.
“If your neighbors, if your friends, if your family — and that person is suffering and you stay silent — then you become a part of the problem. And being anti-racist is being a part of the solution,” she said.
Longoria organized the vigil because she says the physical and emotional trauma of racism as seen in the recent attacks on camera can have a lasting effect.