February 17, 2022

Minkwon Center Responds to the Recent Attacks Upon Asian Community Members

PRESS STATEMENT
For immediate release
February 17, 2022
Contact: Christine Lee, christine.lee@minkwon.org 

Minkwon Center Responds to the Recent Attacks Upon Asian Community Members

Flushing, NY – On February 13, Christina Yuna Lee was killed in her Chinatown apartment after being followed home. Christina was a graduate of Rutgers University and a staff member of a digital music platform company. Her death has not been labeled an act of racism, yet this tragedy comes just weeks after the murders of Michelle Go and Yao Pan Ma. These horrific incidents reflect the ongoing violence against Asian Americans, particularly against Asian American women and elders. Violence against Asians has a long history rooted in racism and xenophobia and there has been an undeniable increase as people in positions of power continue to employ racism, nationalism, and fear to forward their agendas. Additionally, we cannot ignore that many of the perpetrators have been reported to suffer from mental illness, houselessness, and lack of access to resources themselves. Increased policing or incarceration of the houseless and systemically-marginalized will not create safety for our communities. Instead, the systemic inequities that contributed to the killing of yet another Asian American woman must be addressed immediately and comprehensively.

Minkwon Center for Community Action, based in Flushing, New York, has served, educated, and organized low-income Korean, Asian, and immigrant communities since 1984. Minkwon Center, with its national network, NAKASEC, expresses deep condolences to the families and loved ones of victims, and demands systemic strategies and solutions to address the increase in violence against Asian Americans.

“My heart wrenches because of another tragic loss of life. New York City must face the reality and consequences of a failed support system addressing housing and mental health crises. This should not continue to happen.” – Jessica Park, Immigrant Justice Organizer at Minkwon Center

“Like all of my colleagues at Minkwon Center, I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Christina Yuna Lee. I cannot begin to imagine the immense loss and suffering of her family and friends. Their loss is also a loss for the Asian American community. I can only hope to honor this pain by working harder on [Flushing’s] Hate-Free Zone, and continue to advocate with my whole heart for deeply affordable housing along with good cause evictions in order to prevent more brutal murders like Christina’s.” – Hailie Kim, Housing Justice Organizer at Minkwon Center

“There is no safety without community,” Minkwon Youth Organizer, Dahee Lee states. “We call for comprehensive public health strategies that address and provide safe housing and mental health services. What’s more, we call for an immediate end to the sinophobic and racist rhetoric used by political leaders that exacerbate the violence our communities face.” 

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The MinKwon Center for Community Action empowers the Korean American community and works with the wider Asian Pacific American (APA) and immigrant communities to achieve economic and social justice for all.

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)’s mission is to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. The NAKASEC Network is HANA Center (Illinois), Hamkae Center (fka NAKASEC VA) (Virginia), Woori Center (Pennsylvania), MinKwon Center for Community Action (New York) and Woori Juntos (Texas).


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