The United Religions Initiative of North America condemns the heinous acts that took place on March 16th, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia that killed 8 people and injured others. The motivations of the attack remain unclear to authorities, but this attack has further heightened the fear of the Asian-American Pacific Islander community (AAPI) following a sharp increase in racially-motivated discrimination and attacks in the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition tracking reports of racism and discrimination against Asian Americans, says it has received at least 3,795 firsthand complaints since last year.
It is imperative for all of us to stand up against xenophobic rhetoric and attitudes, with love and compassion, becoming agents of change in our own communities who help to eradicate the forces behind these incidents.
On behalf of the United Religions Initiative Leadership Council of North America, we want to let our Asian-American and Pacific Islander siblings know that they are not alone. We see you, we care about you, and stand firmly against anti-AAPI attacks and rhetoric in all of its forms.
We call on our representatives at every level around the country to stand up against these crimes and take responsibility to help keep our AAPI siblings safe in their own homes, communities, and country.
We uplift the essence of our global Charter, which states: “We believe that our religious, spiritual lives, rather than dividing us, guide us to build community and respect for one another...Therefore, as interdependent people rooted in our traditions, we now unite for the benefit of our Earth community.”
We want to encourage the people of the world to remember our interconnectedness as one human family; the importance of seeing ourselves in each other’s eyes, seeing a human being, equally connected to God, the Divine, and/or the Universe that we all belong to.
Our region is working to offer programming that addresses the interconnected nature of justice and the work we must do together in order to uplift and equalize communities. Sessions will have an emphasis on including marginalized voices and will cover topics such as racism, gender-based violence, and more. To sign up for these monthly sessions and recommend your insights on topics and resources we should share, visit http://bit.ly/URIJustice.
It is incumbent upon us to make cultures of peace and justice a reality by being the healers and the peacemakers that we are called to be.
May peace prevail on Earth.
The United Religions Initiative Leadership Council of North America