Pelham Library AAPI Brave Space provides community support for hate crime victims

The Town of Pelham Public Library hosted an Asian American and Pacific Islander Brave Space Discussion on Wednesday evening. 

The Brave Space allowed for an open discussion and dialogue between the panelists and those on the call who participated both aloud and through the Zoom chat feature. Panelists were a range of Pelham residents including Jeffay Chang, Sun Sun Chang, Sing Duffy, Dr. Andy Lee, Micheal Ming, Liam O’Neill, Rose Kuang, and Dr. Jessica Spencer. 

The event was moderated by Desmond Yuen and it allowed for panelists to speak about their experience in light of the recent hate crimes against the AAPI community. Speaking on his inspiration for the event, Yuen said “The Asian American experience is almost never discussed at length, and we can’t start talking about meaningful ways to root out hate and bias until and unless we have a rudimentary understanding what our Asian friends and neighbors are living each day.” 

Research done by Stop APPI Hate recently reported that there have been 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian hate incidents in the last year. Panelists spoke about their response to these incidents as well as their own person experience both in Pelham and outside the community. Topics included discussing the model minority, microaggressions, and asian stereotypes, as well as stories of lived experience from the panelists. 

The end of the discussion was opened up for residents on the call to either comment on the discussion or share their own experiences. 

Yuen said “This was an important discussion for Pelham, and hopefully the start of an ongoing conversation to bring about the change we all want to see.” 

The event was not recorded in order to respect the brave space atmosphere, but resources and further information can be found on the library’s website.