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University of Illinois Students Remember Atlanta Spa Shooting Victims

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Helen Nguyen, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, lights a candle to honor the victims of the Atlanta Spa Shootings. Nguyen and her colleagues planned a vigil on Friday to support their students as they process grief and fear surrounding an increase in anti-Asian racism.

Editor’s note: This story was reported by University of Illinois journalism student Gwyn Skiles, with coverage coordinated by College Of Media journalism professor Chris Evans and professional journalists at Illinois Public Media.

URBANA – University of Illinois community members gathered outside of the Beckman Institute for a vigil honoring the victims of the Atlanta Spa Shootings. Many lit candles in remembrance of those lost and used sidewalk chalk to write words advocating for the stop of anti-Asian racism. Later, participants marched in solidarity to place flowers around the memorial for Yingying Zhang, a Chinese scholar who was kidnapped and murdered in 2017. University of Illinois professors in the Grainger College of Engineering organized the vigil to support their students who are scared of the rise in anti-Asian racism and violence.

 A 21-year-old white man is accused of killing eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, at three Atlanta-area massage businesses on March 16.

Helen Nguyen, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, lights a candle to honor the victims of the Atlanta Spa Shootings. Nguyen and her colleagues planned a vigil on Friday to support their students as they process grief and fear surrounding an increase in anti-Asian racism. Gwyn Skiles/Illinois Newsroom
Many students and University of Illinois community members light candles in remembrance of the victims of the Atlanta Spa Shootings. Diversity was evident as people of all races gathered in support of the AAPI community. Gwyn Skiles/Illinois Newsroom
A participant writes “Rest in Peace” in blue sidewalk chalk outside of the Beckman Institute at Friday’s Vigil honoring those lost in the Atlanta Spa Shootings. Supplies were provided by professors at The Grainger College of Engineering that organized the vigil. Gwyn Skiles/Illinois Newsroom
Champaign-Urbana community members hold a sign displaying the words “I am not a scapegoat” over a picture of an Asian woman at Friday’s vigil for the victims of the Atlanta Spa Shootings. Gwyn Skiles/Illinois Newsroom

Gwyn Skiles/Illinois Newsroom

Champaign-Urbana community members honor the victims of the Atlanta Spa Shootings by decorating their names with candles outside of the Beckman Institute. Gwyn Skiles/Illinois Newsroom
Community members gather outside of the Beckman Institute for a vigil honoring victims of the Atlanta Spa Shootings and stand in protest against anti-Asian racism. Professors in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois hosted the vigil. Gwyn Skiles/Illinois Newsroom
After lighting candles to honor the victims of the Atlanta Sa Shootings, participants marched in solidarity to place flowers around the memorial for Yingying Zhang, a Chinese scholar who was kidnapped and murdered in 2017. Helen Nguyen, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering spoke about the fear and grief many of her international students share. Gwyn Skiles/Illinois Newsroom
Garden dedicated to Yingying Zhang, a Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who was kidnapped and murdered in 2017. Gwyn Skiles/Illinois Newsroom

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