Sophie Ichizawa's blog

Photo from Vigil

Last Friday (3/26), the Woburn community came together to honor the victims of the Atlanta spa shooting and to stand in solidarity with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members. The speaking program began at 5:30 with voices from our local leaders, the AAPI community and allies. Social Capital Inc. (SCI) President, David Crowley, and Woburn Memorial High School student and embRACE Club leader, Sophia Mathews, emceed the event.  

Ron Walker from St. John’s Baptist Church began the program by reading out the names of the victims, then led attendees in a moment of silence to commemorate and honor them. Speeches by Woburn Mayor, Scott Galvin, and Massachusetts State Senator, Cindy Friedman, shared thoughts focusing on the diversity of Woburn and the importance of making the city a more inclusive space for various groups in the community. Senator Friedman noted she was representing the other members of local Beacon Hill delegation at the event. 

BIPOC community members also spoke at the Vigil to discuss their own experiences of anti-AAPI racism: a variety of students and young people who shared powerful stories on the injustices they have faced, anonymous quotes from the AAIP community were read aloud, and SCI Woburn AmeriCorps Member, Sophie Ichizawa, gave a heartfelt speech sharing her personal perspective as a Japanese-American on the importance of this moment for our country. The Vigil concluded with prayers and reflections from two local pastors - Dr. Yaliang Zhao, from First Baptist Church of Woburn, and Dr. Mohanan Unni, from The Shepherd's House.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the AAPI community and to honor the lives of those lost in Atlanta. You can watch the full recording of the Vigil here or check out more photos from the Vigil on our SCI Woburn Facebook page.  We are also still taking anonymous stories and comments by anyone who would like to speak on the recent events that happened or share ways to combat racism against the AAPI community. Click here to submit anonymous comments.

 

The event was planned by diverse group of local organizations and community leaders. The event organizers and other supporters came together and signed the following statement: 

Flyer

 

Join us for Social Capital Inc.'s May 2021 WorldFest! This year, WorldFest will be a month-long event where we will focus on a different region of the world each week! We will feature Europe, Latin America, Asia including the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, and the Carribean. 

Throughout the month we will host various workshops and activities to celebrate the different cultures within our community and raise awareness of the injustices many immigrants and minority groups face today. Although much of the festival will be virtual, we also hope to add an in-person element by hosting small, outdoor performances. These activities will be geared for both adults and kids in the Woburn area!   

We are looking for volunteers to assist in planning and executing the events for WorldFest. If you would be interested in being on a volunteer planning committee for this event, please contact Sophie Ichizawa at sichizawa@socialcapitalinc.org or Jenna Francis at jfrancis@socialcapitalinc.org   

Hermayne Gordon

Thank you to everyone who attended our Disrupting Racism Learning Series! We had a great turnout with over 40 participants from the Woburn, Winchester and Winthrop area. The workshops were facilitated by Executive Director of Network for Social Justice, Liora Norwich and recently appointed Interim Assistant Director of the Woburn Library, Hermayne Gordon. 

Participants engaged in thoughtful and reflective conversations regarding their own understanding of race and racism. In each session, they learned key concepts, terms, and theories. Many teachers attended these sessions to learn how to bring these conversations into their classrooms. The final workshop ended with a presentation and discussion on racism in the suburbs and the ways housing policies affect racial equity.  

We appreciate everyone who joined us and participated in these engaging and impactful discussions. During this time, it is important to keep on educating ourselves about the ways in which we can interrupt racism in our own communities. Below is a list of books that were shared by participants who attended the screening of Traces of the Trade: A Story of the Deep North. They address many of the issues brought up in the Disrupting Racism Series. 

 

 

More resources can be found on our webpage here: http://sciwoburn.org/traces