March 18, 2021

Searching for Strength Following Atlanta Shootings

By Josh Crosson

On Tuesday, a gunman entered three different spas and killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women.

Over the last couple of days, I have been reflecting on these murders that resulted in the deaths of women whose stories I can only imagine. I transpose the faces of the Asian women who have raised me: my mother, my cousins, my unties, my grumma, and all the women I called untie and grumma. These amazing women had the strength, knowledge, and instincts to allow a new generation to flourish. They, too, worked low-wage jobs where they’ve built community and mentorship among other Asian women and could have easily been victims in their places of work.

When I think of the murder of these six women, I can’t help but think about the lives that have been prematurely ended and the countless lives that have been set back.

My mom worked two jobs and sold Avon on the side to allow me the opportunity to enroll in a school that was rigorous. One of those jobs was the graveyard shift of a low-budget hotel near the airport. Her work laid the foundation for my success. My ability to fight for students of color was only made possible by her interpersonal fight for my education. Had her life been taken in a systemic act of violence, who would have fought for me?

These six women were likely immigrants doing what they could to provide for their families, working hard for their own survival, and giving their children the opportunities they’ve only seen in books. Now, the question is, how do we as a community show up for their children?

Today, I show up at EdAllies with a new-found revitalization. Purging our community of white supremacy and showing up for students has never felt so urgent. Our community must do what it needs to do to prevent tragedies like what happened in Georgia from ever happening again, and we must also guarantee that the success of our kids does not hang by a thread especially when their families are torn from them.

EdAllies stands in solidarity and outrage with our Asian community and with our partners like Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL). Please read CAAL’s statement and act now.