UK students, faculty walk in solidarity with Asian American community

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 4:36 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 4:37 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - On Friday, people walked through UK’s campus and said they felt empowered.

Students, faculty and staff gathered to walk in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. They walked from the library to the student center to send a message.

Their chants of “one community” and “stop Asian hate” echoed through the campus.

The crowd said they were walking to condemn anti-Asian crimes. One chemistry professor said he marched to make his students, colleagues and children feel welcome.

“That’s what this is, a public statement that this is not acceptable and I think for Asian people and Asian Americans both who are here, I think it’s important for people who don’t support the sorts of things that have been going on to stand up and show that we care,” said Dr. Robert Grossman.

Student leaders joined the march, calling for accountability on campus.

“I think it starts with university leaders, I think it starts with administration, it starts with leaders on campus, but as long as they’re doing their part and they’re showing their support, I believe we can make some actual change, incoming UK Student Government Association Vice President Maya Elias said.

Another UK student said she felt the energy during the walk.

“I love going to rallies and chanting stuff like this,” said Angela Fu. “It was nice to see this big group of people walking through campus together.”

Once the group reached Barker Plaza, speakers called on UK leaders to reach out to international students, specifically those from Asia to help them feel welcome.

Elias said she would like to see a lot of changes made during her term.

“Holding people accountable to their words and to their actions and showing real support, and not letting people get away with hate crimes, for one, but also just simple things that are hurting marginalized communities on campus,” she said.

Group leaders said they’re more events like this one in the fall.

Saturday marks the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

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