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Candlelight vigil held for Georgia massage parlor victims

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and the Nassau County Office of Asian American Affairs hosted an interfaith candlelight vigil on April 1. The vigil, which took place at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative in Mineola, was held in honor of the victims of the Georgia massage parlor shootings, in which eight people were killed, six of whom were women of Asian descent, and all victims of hate.

Among the guest speakers was Rabbi Susan Elkodsi, spiritual leader of the Malverne Jewish Center. “We ask [God] that he gives us the strength to remove hate from our vocabulary,” Elkodsi said. “We ask that their memories be for blessing and inspiration that they shall not have died in vain . . . and that this will work towards creating peace and harmony in the heavens and here on earth.”

“Nassau County is standing together against the rising tide of Anti-Asian hatred,” Curran said in a news release. “Although there have been no reported hate crimes targeting Asians in Nassau, the attacks we’re seeing nationwide are unacceptable. Nassau County will continue to work alongside our state and federal partners to combat hatred with action that will deter violence, protect our residents, and educate the public.”

The host committee for the event included Nassau County Asian American Affairs Advisory Council Members Juleigh Chin, Christine Liu, and Gordon Zhang. Sponsoring organizations of the County vigil included the Long Island Chinese American Association; New Hyde Park Chinese Association; Herricks Chinese Association; Roslyn Grace, Great Neck Chinese Association; Chinese American Association of Syosset; Chinese American Association of North Hempstead; Herricks Muslim Families; Afghan Americans of New York; Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County; Muslims of Nassau County; Islamic Center of Long Island; American Jewish Committee Long Island Region; Tanglaw Organization; Chinese Center on Long Island.

“We are here to stand vigil for the victims of the shooting in Atlanta, Georgia,” said Farrah Mozawalla, the executive director of the Office of Asian American Affairs. “We honor each life lost at the hands of atrocious, violent hate, and we are committed to raising awareness of the anti-Asian discrimination that has swept the country. Nassau County has no place for hatred, violence, and inhumanity.”

Courtesy County Executive Laura Curran’s office; compiled by Nakeem Grant