A Message from WCC Executive Director Erin Williams and President of the Board Tracy Kraus – March 26, 2021

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The Worcester Cultural Coalition stands in solidarity with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the quest to end racial violence and violence toward women. USA Today reported that violence against Asian Americans rose 149% from 2019 to 2020, and a recent national report released by the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center showed that AAPI women report hate incidents 2.3 times more than AAPI men. In-person and online verbal harassment, shunning, taunting, and threatening based on a person’s race or gender need to be called what they are – hatred, racism, and misogyny. Physical assault, stalking, and civil rights violations based on a person’s race or gender need to be called what they are – hate crimes. 

We send our deepest condolences to the families, neighborhoods, businesses, and communities who have been, and continue to be, directly impacted by biases, hatred, and violence. There is no place in a just, compassionate, and productive society for hatred and intolerance, which are present not just in violent attacks but have raised their ugly heads in online comments, political rhetoric, purchasing decisions, and even in “jokes” based on racial and gender stereotypes.  

We believe in practicing compassion, grace, and action wherever and whenever intolerance appears. The Worcester Cultural Coalition remain committed to developing an anti-racist and anti-misogynistic society, an equitable community of compassion and justice for us all. To get there requires personal reflection, education, and speaking out, as well as creating comfortable shared spaces in the public arena, equitable opportunities, the amplification of marginalized voices, and improving the diversity of people and ideas in our own circles and in every aspect of our society. Our words matter, our actions matter. 

Please join us in supporting AAPI-led organizations and individuals: make a contribution, attend an anti-racism gathering, create an opportunity to connect with, listen to, and speak out in support your neighbors. On a personal level, add AAPI perspectives to your world view through intentional selection of books, movies, playlists, and social media accounts written, directed, performed, or led by Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders. The Worcester Cultural Coalition remains steadfast in both our support of our AAPI family and in our commitment to bring the healing, thought-provoking, and meaningful world of arts and culture to our community, building a stronger, kinder, more united Worcester, and planet, for everyone.  

Sincerely,

Erin Williams, Executive Director

Tracy Kraus, President of the Board

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