Monterey Park Shooting Vigil – photo courtesy of KTLA
For those of us who just celebrated the Lunar New Year — a time that should be joyous — the deadly shooting in Monterey Park this past weekend was an egregious and heartbreaking reminder of how our communities and cultures can come under violent attack in even a place as diverse as Los Angeles. This tragedy has been compounded by the also-deadly shooting in Half Moon Bay near San Francisco on Tuesday. We know individuals who live and serve in the community may be feeling grief, anger, fear, and frustration, whether or not they personally know someone who was a victim.
In these difficult times, with back-to-back shootings that affect the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Latinx communities, we must lean on each other. Violent events such as these can cause long-term trauma and mental health consequences to anyone affected, directly or indirectly. NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, provides thorough information and ways to seek help.
It has specific resources for those in the AAPI community — a demographic that is usually reluctant to get help — who are struggling with mental health. It offers information on how to receive culturally-competent care and explains barriers to seeking help like stigma and language barriers. It also lists various organization like the Asian American Health Initiative that provide education and solidarity. NAMI provides similar resources for those in the Latinx community.
You can help the victims and their families by donating to verified, event-specific GoFundMe fundraisers for both the Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay shootings. The TIME Magazine article, “How to Help the Victims and Community After the Monterey Parking Shooting,” suggests donating to other organizations that are assisting the community like Stop AAPI Hate and Changing Tides. The organizations respectively track and respond to hate or harassment in the community and provide education on suicide prevention and peer specialist training for trauma-informed care.
Bet Tzedek stands with the AAPI and Latinx communities. We are grieving the many lives lost to the shootings and send our support to the families of the victims. Our organization provides a safe, caring, and compassionate environment for staff and clients, and we extend that to all communities in Los Angeles and beyond.