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.