SKOKIE, Illinois - Hundreds of people gathered in Skokie on Sunday in support of Asian Americans, and to speak out against violent attacks. The rally came days after a man killed eight people in the Atlanta area, most of them women of Asian descent.
"These women were someone's mom, daughter, sister," said Rev. Sung Yeon Choi Morrow.
The crowd stood silently as the names of the victims were read aloud: Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 64; Xiaojie "Emily" Tan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44.
"People don’t see how we’re suffering and how we’re suffering in silence," said organizer Khem Khoeven.
About 27 percent of the residents of Skokie are of Asian descent.
"Today I think about my male peers, and their micro-aggressive remarks towards my passion for feminism and activism," said Ella Yoo, a Niles North student active in student government.
State Rep. Denise Wang Stoneback talked about legislation that tackles hate crimes and gun violence head-on.
"We will be looking at hate crimes law and Illinois seeing where we can strengthen it because every time one of these horrific crimes happens, we have to examine our laws and see where we can improve them," she said.