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City, State, and Leaders of the Asian American Pacific Islander Community Rally to Stop Hate and Bias

City Councilor Lan Sena hosted space for healing, story sharing, and next steps.

March 28, 2021

Today, City Councilor Lan Sena, Attorney General Hector Balderas, Mayor Tim Keller, Council President Cynthia Borrego, Commissioner Adriann Barboa, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina, Albuquerque Public Schools, and leaders of the Asian American Pacific Islander community gathered on Civic Plaza to rally against Asian American Pacific Islander hate and bias in the City of Albuquerque.

“We are here to collectively grieve and heal from the tragedy in Atlanta, so we must hold at the center the victims and their families,” said Councilor Sena. “We cannot address the tragedy without assessing the broader crisis and trauma that our Asian American Pacific Islander community face. We stand against the misogyny, systemic racism, violence, hate, xenophobia, and white supremacy.”

Stop Asian Hate Press Conference and Rally

Numerous members of the community showed up and spoke today, sharing their stories and calls to action. Many carried signs that read: “Protect Our Asian Elders,” “Support Asian Businesses,” and “Stop Asian Hate.”

Councilor Sena shared a statement from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, “I stand in solidarity and support with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community of New Mexico. Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Asian immigrants living in New Mexico are a beloved and valued thread of the multicultural fabric that we are so proud to celebrate in our beautiful state.”

Mayor Tim Keller added, “Over a year ago, we spoke out against anti-Asian racism right here in Albuquerque. Since then, we’ve only seen the problem increase nationwide. I am here to show my support for the Asian-American community. Albuquerque supports you. We are here for you, and will do whatever needs to be done to make sure we back up our promises toward real equity and inclusion.”

“Hate has no place in New Mexico,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “We stand with the AAPI community, as we grieve the loss of our neighbors in Atlanta; and we will hold anyone accountable who commits violence against someone just for being who they are.”

New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League, Albuquerque Chapter, Interim President Aiko Allen, stated, “We honor our ancestors who dreamed through their sacrifices that there would be something better for their children. As NMJACL, we rise with you and stand together moving forward always. No silence, no invisibility.”

Councilor Sena outlined some of her next steps, including legislation to affirm the commitment making the City a more welcoming environment and making it easier to report any hate or discrimination. Councilor Sena also committed to working with Asian American Pacific Islander youth groups, including to fund culturally appropriate programs and services that help with behavioral and mental health, as schools begin opening up.

The press conference was streamed live on YouTube and is available for viewing here: