Hundreds gather at Shelby Farms to support Asian community with candlelight vigil

Memphis, Tenn. — Unity filled Shelby Farms Sunday, as hundreds gathered for a vigil to honor the lives lost in last week’s Atlanta spa shootings.

“You feel like you’re supported by people in our community,” event spokesperson Jinliang Cai said.

Supporters spoke out against violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders not just in Atlanta, but around the country.

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather for Protect Asian Lives vigil at Shelby Farms

According to Stop AAPI Hate, there have been 3,795 anti-Asian incidents reported over the past year.

Cai said the fear is real for many.

“Many people don’t want to go out in the public spaces,” he said. “A public event like this. We have heard people don’t want to come because they are afraid something could happen. So, the fear is in the community.”

Event organizers also spoke against racism across the board.

Reverend Regina Clarke said it was important for all communities in Memphis to show their support.

“One week it’s the indigenous,” Clarke said. “One week it’s the Blacks. One week it’s the black women. We need to all stand together. We’re standing as one.”

Cai said this is a time where all minorities can come together.

“Latinos, African Americans, immigrant communities in general,” he said. “Muslims and really, I think it’s an opportunity for all minorities to come together, show solidarity to support each other.”

Memphis showed this in full display Sunday.

“This is about saying ‘Oh I had a bad day, therefore, your life doesn’t’ matter,’” Clarke said. “We can’t have that. So, we are here to stand with our Asian brothers and sisters to say enough of this.”