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ILT Statement on Racial Violence

March 22, 2021

The Institute Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas strongly denounces last week’s mass shootings in Georgia in which Asian and Asian-American women were the primary targets.

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, a white gunman, in a series of killings at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area, fatally shot eight people and injured one. Of the eight killed, seven were women and six were Asian. We say their names here:

Daoyou Feng, 44

Hyun Jung Grant, 51

Suncha Kim, 69

Paul Andre Michels, 54

Soon Chung Park, 74

Xiaojie Tan, 49

Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33

Yong Ae Yue, 63

Elcias Hernandez- Ortiz (injured)

In this moment of immense loss, we grieve with each family represented, the many friends and the community over the loss of their loved ones. We pray for God’s love of comfort and care to surround each person impacted by these killings and for healing for the one person injured.

In acknowledging these senseless murders, we also recognize that, in the United States, the xenophobia and racist hate targeting Asian Americans is at an all-time high. The killing of the six Asian women in Atlanta is the latest violent incident and is unquestionably deeply rooted in the intersection of race, gender and class, enabled by a lack of sensible gun laws. These acts of violence are of a piece with the history of the sexual objectification of Asian women.

We look to the day when statements such as this are no longer necessary. Until then, we will speak our outrage against gun violence, misogyny, xenophobia and racism, and we will actively work to eliminate them. We stand in solidarity with the broader Asian-American and Pacific-Islander communities and continue to ask God to hear our prayers.

Yours in Mercy,

The Institute Leadership Team

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