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Powerfull Voices

Violence and discrimination towards Asian-Americans has become a frequent headline across the nation this year. A Centre County organization is hosting an online event Monday evening to fight back against that trend.

The Community Diversity Group will be holding a panel discussion over Zoom, aiming to combat anti-Asian hate. The panel, co-sponsored by the Borough of State College, will feature a number of Asian-Americans in Central Pennsylvania.

This issue hits close to home in Centre County, as Ferguson Township Police said they’re investigating a case where an Asian woman was reportedly struck in the back of the head by someone with an object and told to, quote “go back where she came from.”

Shin-In Ma is a social justice advocate and will moderate Monday’s discussion. The State College native says the American dream isn’t a reality for everyone.

“I think it’s extremely important to have dialogue, not just about this issue for Asians about our inclusion, our exclusion, our biases, our prejudices are systemic issues that keep certain groups down or exclude them from the, the stated ideals of this country of liberty and justice for all, those are ideals, I don’t think that we’re living them,” she said.

Ma says she hopes the conversation will leave a lasting impact.

“As humans, I think we tend to remember stories better than we remember statistics, and then come back and say ‘alright, what are we, what do we do about them?”

Centre County Commissioner Michael Pipe says he wants to see diversity celebrated in the community, rather than denigrated.

“Recently, the Board of Commissioners declared May of 2021 as Asian-American/Pacific Islander month in Centre County to raise awareness about the amazing diversity we have in Centre County and also to combat the hate we’ve seen recently occurring across the country against individuals in that community, so we want to do everything we can to stop the hate here in Centre County.”


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