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Stop Asian Hate Rally Planned for Saturday in Huber Heights

A drawing of the backs of seven people, waving flags and signs and a megaphone as if at a rally or protest. The image is colorful with a rainbow paint-splattered background. Above their heads it says #StopAsianHate.
Huber Heights Culture and Diversity Citizens Action Commission Facebook page

Residents are encouraged to gather with signs from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at NorthPark Center to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

The City of Huber Heights is hosting an anti-racism and unity rally Saturday in support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Harassment and violence against Asian Americans has increased over the last year in the United States. Last week eight people were killed in the Atlanta-area shootings, six of them women of Asian descent.

Residents are encouraged to gather with signs from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at NorthPark Center, and additional signs will be available from organizers. Mia Honaker helped organize the event as a member of the city’s Culture and Diversity Citizen Action Commission. Often the voices of Asian Americans like her are not heard, she said.

“We're always seen as that model minority. We’re the quiet, we’re the good, just keep going” she said. “That's such a myth that hurts all of us, not just the AAPI community, but all groups of color. It's important to have these unity rallies to show that we unite together because we're stronger together.”

Members of the Dayton chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Philippine-American Society of Greater Dayton, and the Asian American Council of Dayton will give speeches. Huber Heights Mayor Jeff Gore and other city leaders will also speak.

Rhonda Sumlin, Vice Chair of the commission, said they chose to have the event at NorthPark Center because they wanted to make sure businesses were able to experience the event.

“Even if they [the business owners] can't come out, having it at NorthPark creates the visibility that's necessary for the business owners and for the residents,” she said. “These types of issues need visibility. It's not enough to have an event in a park. People need to see the message. They need to hear the message.”

A local business in Riverside, Xuan Vietnamese Cuisine, plans to close in May following racist vandalism at the restaurant. An analysis of over 3,795 incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate found that businesses were the primary site of discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, representing more than a third of the reported cases.