Shared Stories' facilitator, Linda Shum, spoke at the rally. Here is her speech:
"My name is Linda Shum and I am a volunteer with the Chinese Progressive Association where I help to run an immigrant youth program. Last January, some of our students attended their first rally ever here at Columbus Park, for Danny Chen, for the march and vigil. And, I’d like to take this time just to read aloud one of their reflections that the students wrote: 'When we began the vigil at Columbus Park, we literally began to think about something important that would have an impact on us and our futures. We hoped we would’ve encouraged more students to join or at least to let them realize the kind of society we are still in now and what responsibilities we have here. Before, we believed that as time went by, the cultural differences and prejudices between each race would be eliminated. After this event, we realized we came to the United States, not only with our expectations toward personal wealth but also came with our identities. As Chinese Americans, we are endowed with the responsibilities to protect our rights. It’s possible that we may not be exposed to the dangers of discrimination; but this event alarmed us that we will be the victims of our own selfishness with the degradation of our dignity and pride, if we do not realize the existence of racial discrimination and stand up against it. We can accomplish our life’s values by being part of a world where people devote their efforts to the preservation of justice, especially in our society.' 'We believe that people of justice must stand together. It will be a promise to win this battle. Now it’s our responsibility to reach out with our understanding and realization to others who are still not aware of the existence of discrimination and to improve ourselves and to carry our mighty weapons, knowledge and the sense of justice, into the war against discrimination.'
That is word for word of what they wrote. These students are mostly all immigrants, and have only been in the country for four years or more. I would like to add one more thing, which is, the fight for justice is not over yet. It is our responsibility and members of this community to serve as role models for our young people. And, thank you so much for everyone who is here today to lend their support to Danny Chen, his family members and to our community."
To read the original reflection, click here.
Great job Linda!