Community gathers on Civic Plaza to support AAPI community

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ALUQUERQUE, N.M. — Leaders across New Mexico gathered at Albuquerque Civic Plaza Sunday to collectively grieve and support the Asian and Pacific Islander community.

Speakers addressed the recent tragedy in Atlanta, and the trauma the local AAPI community has endured during the pandemic.

Albuquerque City Councilor Lan Sena led the charge.

"We must stand against the misogyny, systemic racism, violence, hate, xenophobia and white supremacy," Sena said.

Law enforcement, school, and business leaders also spoke up about how to create change.

"But today, our API community— we are not banding together out of fear. No, we are here today to protect each other and break that stereotype we all call the model minority myth. We are a community of businesses across multiple industries, and we are here to disrupt the silence,” said Kristelle Siarza, CEO of Siarza Social Digital.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said he will enforce laws to eradicate hate, but also called on state leadership to increase resources for the community.

"We can make our communities safer, more tolerant, and more just," Balderas added.