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AFT Leaders Condemn Attacks Targeting Asian Americans in Georgia

For Release: Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Contact: Alexis Lopez,

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, AFT Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus and Boston Teachers Union President and Chair of the AFT Asian American and Pacific Islander Task Force Jessica Tang issued the following statement in response to the recent killings of eight people, six of whom were Asian women, in Northern Georgia:

Weingarten said:

“Each and every one of us deserves to feel safe—in our own homes, our own communities, our own houses of worship and our own workplaces, regardless of our color or creed. But hatred directed at our Asian American friends, family and neighbors is at an all-time high, due in part to the misinformation and lies spread by the Trump administration since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Xenophobia exists. It’s something that far too many nonwhite people experience in America every day, and it is an ugly stain on our humanity. As the people who educate children, care for patients and help keep our communities safe, we must continue to teach tolerance and acceptance, and take a stand against the injustices that continue affecting the lives of so many people we love. We must fight hate through education.

“May the memories of those lives lost in Georgia yesterday be a blessing.”

DeJesus said:

“We must come together as one and condemn the racist violence that continues invading our country. We must set an example for future generations that this is not who we really are, that we can move forward from the last four years of divisiveness that has spread through this country like wildfire. It is up to us to change the hundreds of years of systemic racism that has marginalized so many communities.”

Tang said:

“As an Asian American woman who has long advocated against both gun violence and racism, I am particularly heartbroken and angered by the events that occurred last night in Atlanta. The violence, hate and prejudice directed against Asian Americans must stop. Racially motivated violence in all its forms must stop. Everyone, regardless of their appearance or perceived differences, deserves to live in peace and without fear. #StopAsianHate

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.

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