Three weeks after rallies took place across Canada taking a stand against anti-Asian hate, a similar event is scheduled to take place in Coquitlam on Monday (May 31).
The Asian Impact Society, created by Tri-City community leaders, is set to host what it calls a politically neutral rally as part of the ongoing response to the statistical uptick in racism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Known as ‘Spread Love Not Hate,’ Gina Chong, Tiffany Duff and Celia Chiang formed the Society in hopes of engaging with local residents and allies in collectively using resources to “foster a more inclusive community.”
“With the onslaught and increase of racism occurring since the beginning of the pandemic, Asians around the world have been unfairly marginalized and subject to increased hate both verbally and physically,” the Society explains.
On May 10, two SkyTrain stations in the Tri-Cities were among 13 sites where rallies were held and organized by the Stand With Asians Coalition.
Chong was among supporters for the National Day of Action in her community of Port Moody and told Tri-City News she was confronted at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam back in April.
She explained a woman lashed out after declining to take her photo because of physical distancing restrictions. In response, the woman remarked, “You know this COVID is all because of you. You need to go back to China.”
“I feel like, after the incident, I have been given the opportunity to speak out about Asian hate,” said Chong.
“When the incident happened, I was just inundated with stories from friends and strangers. It really opened my eyes to all the stories not being told in my community. No one ever talks about it.
“I’m here to support and be the voice for those who don’t have a voice.”
Chong, Duff and Chiang started Asian Impact Society not long after that rally as a non-profit volunteer group in allowing others to share their experiences and raise awareness on racial injustice.
Its rally is scheduled for Monday (May 31) at Lafarge Lake by the Orca eco-statue from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The Society says space is limited for the rally in following COVID-19 health and safety protocols, so interested residents are asked to RSVP in advance.
- with a file from Janis Cleugh, Tri-City News