Washington, DC (August 14, 2012) – Leading national health, equity and civil rights groups, joining together as America Healing grantees of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, issued the following joint statement in response to the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin that left six people dead, three in critical condition, and many injured on August 5, 2012.
We offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their families of the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, in Oak Creek. As members of communities who have faced bigotry in the past and work to eliminate hate in the future, we stand in solidarity with the Sikh community and all those who reject violence.
Unfortunately, over a decade of hate, violence, discrimination, profiling and racist rhetoric has followed the tragic events of 9/11 as Sikhs, Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians, have been repeatedly targeted and portrayed as disloyal, threatening, and un-American. Attacks against one group are an attack against all and are destructive to our entire nation.
We call on all to reaffirm our core values of inclusion and diversity. We are more than just the sum of our identifiers—whether they be Asian American or African American, Christian or Muslim, immigrant or native-born.
We join all communities mourning the loss of innocent lives in Oak Creek, thanking the heroic efforts of those who tried to end the violence, and praying for the healing of individuals, families, communities, and our nation. We will continue to work for greater understanding, tolerance and civil rights in our minority communities. Our nation was founded on the core values of liberty and justice for all – we are united and determined in ensuring that this applies to all Americans.
The Advancement Project, Applied Research Center, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, National Council of La Raza, National Urban League, and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council are part of America Healing, a long-term effort of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, working to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children by promoting racial equity and eliminating barriers to opportunity.