SWAN released a statement on March 16th, 2022 to mark the first anniversary of the Atlanta shootings.
We continue to honour the outpouring of support we received in the aftermath of the tragedy. SWAN is building on the truly incredible solidarity we shared with everyone despite such a devastating event. We continue to combat anti-Asian racism and sex work stigma to help prevent such unspeakable racist white supremacist violence in the future.
One year after the Atlanta spa shootings
Statement from SWAN Vancouver
On 16 March 2021, eight people, including six Asian women, were murdered at massage businesses in Atlanta, Georgia.
SWAN joined the world in devastation. SWAN is a Vancouver-based non-profit dedicated to promoting the rights, health, and safety of immigrant, migrant and newcomer women, many of whom work in businesses like the ones at the center of the spa shootings. Today, on the anniversary of that horrific day, our hearts remain with the victims’ families, loved ones, and their respective communities.
In the days that followed the shootings, SWAN landed in a bittersweet and unprecedented spotlight. We received more public interest, media requests and community support in one week than we had in the entirety of our organization’s 19-year history. We were deeply heartened and encouraged by incredible outpourings of community support from all over the world, not just for SWAN but for other community organizations as well, especially those working to end anti-Asian racism.
Media attention and public interest waxes and wanes, particularly as unspeakable acts are now a sad regularity. SWAN, however, cannot and will not ever forget everyone who lost people they love one year ago today. Our thoughts are with everyone in Atlanta whose day on March 16th, 2021 began like any other, but ended in the center of the unspeakable violence that transpired.
The Atlanta spa shootings exemplified a deadly culmination of many of the systemic issues SWAN addresses. We acknowledge the importance of remembering that the women who were killed were targeted because they were associated with a massage business.
Today, we join you in heartfelt mourning, remembering and reflecting.
Tomorrow, we resume our steadfast dedication to combating the societal factors, stigma and systemic failures that led to the horrific events now memorialized every March 16th.
Media inquiries: contact us here.
Fundraisers, Vigils & Events:
- Verified fundraisers for the families & survivors of the Atlanta massacre
- 16 March: Break the Silence Day: Justice for Asian Women (in-person, multiple cities, USA)
- 17 March: 8 Lives Vigil (virtual, Canada & USA)
- 18 March: 8 Lives Vigil (virtual & in-person, Rhode Island, USA)