CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — People gathered at the University of Illinois’ Beckman Quad this afternoon.
They were honoring the lives lost in a mass shooting in Atlanta on March 16th. Eight people were killed– 6 of which were women of Asian descent. The vigil recognized those victims and all other violence against Asian Americans.
The event was hosted by a group of Environmental Engineering Professors. WCIA spoke to one of the organizers. Professor Helen Nguyen said it has been difficult for students to be able to grieve together because of the pandemic. She said she hoped this vigil would provide them with a space to do just that.
“The first thing we hope for is to share the feelin that we are in this together. Another thing is that we want everyone can see that we are here not just to study and do research, but we are also human beings. We have feelings and we value each other’s differences.”
The organizers led the group in a moment of silence. This was followed by candle lighting. People brought bouquets of flowers and posters with messages of solidarity. Everyone was invited to take the megaphone to the front of the group and share their feelings.