Dozens of Babson College students, staff, and faculty marched Sunday on College Drive in a demonstration in support of Asian American and Pacific Islanders amid thousands of incidents of racism over the past year.
Three of the walkathon’s student organizers shared what spurred their decision to host a demonstration on campus and what takeaways they hoped community members would receive from it.
Jen Lo ’22, co-President of BAPSA
“At first, when the number of hate crimes against Asians rose, I noticed how everyone took the issue to social media, whether it was through resharing posts/videos/fundraisers, or just commentary on the horrible actions taking place. All of this was great because word was spreading and people were becoming more aware, but what I saw was a lack of action.
“That action can take place in many ways and in the Babson Asia Pacific Student Association, we started discussing what were the options for us to make an impact in some way. The walkathon in combination with a fundraiser was what Babson Origins of Necessary Equality and BAPSA believed to be the most impactful.
“We wanted to raise awareness to continue the dialogue about the problems in our world and what challenges minority groups may face.”
Ysbely Santos ’23, President of Babson Origins of Necessary Equality
“We wanted people to understand the topic of Asian American Pacific Islander hate, which is why we decided to have speakers explain how these events have been taking place for years. This issue affects everyone, not just the AAPI community, and everyone needs to care about what is happening, not just those who were directly impacted.
“Freedom of speech is a freedom that a lot of Americans take for granted; therefore, we need to take a stance on these issues, especially because this is the world we are going to be living in.”
Noey Tarasansombat ’22, co-President of BAPSA
“The Asian Pacific Islander community has been facing racism for a long time, and this year there has been a rise in the number of cases of Asian hate crimes. Too often this issue has been ignored and unreported because people see Asian people as ‘a modeled minority’ when in fact we are facing hate and racism just like everyone else.
“We see this rise in Asian hate crimes as the time to finally stand up and come together as a community to put an end to racism. The goal of the walkathon was to spread awareness and promote diversity, showing that a community is better when everyone comes together to celebrate its own uniqueness while being respectful of one another. We hoped this would make people more comfortable speaking up about the issue to educate themselves as well as those around them.”
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