While our community has suffered through some trying times this past year adjusting to conditions of COVID-19, perhaps the most disheartening events have been those that have been directly aimed at our communities of color. Most recently, the violent attacks on Asian-American women in Georgia who lost their lives to a lone gunman. In addition, there has been a steep increase in reported violence directed towards the Asian-American community over the past year. This past summer, we all witnessed the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which was just one of many Black lives lost in the face of questionable circumstances. Finally, the August 3, 2019 mass shooting in El Paso, which targeted Latino shoppers by a lone gunman, was another example of this hatred of others.

The LEARN organization wants to express our heartfelt condolences to all that have been affected by these acts of hate. We strongly condemn such acts and ask that we all stand together to combat the pervasiveness of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia that can, and have, impacted all communities. We can combat racism through care for one another, civic engagement, financial support and leading within our spheres of influence to affect positive change. If you see or know of ongoing threats or violence, report it by calling 211, which is a national helpline for essential services. Our diversity is our strength in the face of challenges.

-Robert Arellanes, CEO