Statement in Response to Violence Against Asian-Americans

We at the Issaquah History Museums stand firmly in solidarity against the racism and violence targeting Pacific Islander and Asian Americans, including the recent murder of eight people in Atlanta.

A vital part of our mission as a Museum is working to better understand and represent the full compass of human experiences. Xenophobia and racism towards Asian Americans have been a terrible reality in this country, and in Issaquah specifically, for far too long.

The recent rise of anti-Asian hate crimes has everything to do with racism, stereotypes, and senseless conspiracy theories. Especially at this critical juncture, we urge everyone to be actionable. Great places to start are by supporting local organizations which fight this issue; and, of course, seeking educational resources which will help us learn about the experiences of Asian Americans and how to be of support.

Since our original statement of antiracism in June 2020, we have solidified our action plan to become an antiracist organization:

  • Conduct equity training for our board and staff members, scheduled for April and May 2021.
  • Write a series of articles about Issaquah’s racial and racist past, some of which will address the inequities experienced by Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian Americans in the area. We will also continue to highlight and celebrate the important contributions that Asian American Issaquahns have made to this community, past and present.
  • Conduct oral history interviews with BIPOC in our community, including Asian American Issaquahns.
  • Review our collections for gaps in representation.
  • Contextualize collections items that are inherently racist or reference racism.
  •  Review our exhibits for gaps and bias, and correct as resources are available.

We at IHM are determined to lift up marginalized voices and to share the authentic history of Issaquah, even when parts of that past are reprehensible. We are also determined to support our Pacific Islander and Asian American community in any way possible. These action points exist as part of a living document; if you have any questions or recommendations for us, please contact us at info@issaquahhistoryorg.

Further Reading:

We offer our condolences and sympathies to the victims of the Atlanta shootings, and to their families.

Daoyou Feng, 44

Paul Andre Michels, 54

Hyun Jung Kim, 51

Suncha Kim, 69

Soon Chung Park, 74

Xiaojie Tan, 49

Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33

Yong Ae Yue, 63