On Human Rights & Censorship, World Cultures, Wanderlust and Criticism Without Borders
BY RANDY GENER
NEW YORK CITY | Allow me to offer a personal testimony. I am stepping aside my usual role of objective editor and writer because the Asian American Arts Alliance played an instrumental role in raising the general public’s awareness to a horrid event.
This valuable alliance is throwing a 33rd anniversary party at Wednesday, September 16, 2023 at 6:30pm. It will take place at Tribeca Rooftop (2 Desbrosses St, NYC). It’s their annual fundraiser/benefit.
I suggest you go. If you are already committed to doing something else, do please consider donating your hard-earned money to the Alliance. Buy tickets by going to the alliance’s website; here is the link.
The rest of what follows offers my personal testimony — a clear example of why this arts alliance is worthy of your financial support.
On January 17, a bigoted piece of ass-wipe attacked me outside my apartment building and left me bloodied on the streets in the Broadway district. It was a hate crime. Later the shit-face, who attacked me for being “a flat-nosed fag,” was identified as Leighton Jennings of Jamaica, Queens. He was charged with felony assault.
During this awful time (I underwent surgery), the Asian American Arts Alliance issued a public statement. Andrea Louie, the executive director of the alliance, issued a call for NYC authorities to pursue a rigorous investigation of what happened:
The Alliance calls on New York Police Commissioner William Bratton and his team to pursue a thorough and rigorous investigation. Randy’s family say they fear he may have been a victim of a hate crime, since nothing was stolen. Randy was nearly home when he was viciously attacked on Seventh Avenue around 54th Street.
“The Alliance is shocked to learn of this horrifying crime and urges authorities to aggressively continue their search for the attackers,” said Andrea Louie, executive director of the Alliance. “That the Asian American community has rallied together so quickly to lend support and raise awareness on behalf of Randy’s family is truly an inspiration. But it’s heartbreaking that we even have to do this.”
You can read the rest of the statement by clicking this link.
This year the Asian American Arts Alliance is celebrating its 33rd year of existing and serving Asian-American communities everywhere. The benefit gala will feature honorees actor/activist George Takei and founding members of Soh Daiko, Alan and Merle Okada.
Funds raised from this event will support the alliance’s programs and services, which offers artists opportunities to be their own best entrepreneurs across the spectrum of their careers—helping them to build audiences, seek funding, and grow their own artistic and strategic alliances.
Asian American Arts Alliance is dedicated to strengthening Asian American artists and arts/cultural groups in New York City through funding, promotion and community building.
I have personally benefited from the alliance’s advocacy. In fact, it consistently makes a broader impact. Supporting the alliance will mean that other Asian-American artists and arts professionals will be given a huge network of assistance in their careers. —rg