SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Members of the Asian American community held a vigil in Santa Barbara Saturday afternoon.
They stood in solidarity near the corner of Anapamu and State Street.
Organizers and participants talked about the recent gun violence that left six Asian woman dead inside Atlanta spas this month.
They wore white clothing which symbolizes mourning in Asian and Pacific Islander cultures.
One woman walked with a sign that explained how her ancestors survived hate through silence.
Tina Villadolid's sign read, "My ancestors survived hate through silence. I break silence for my descendants, for my ancestors and for myself."
"I would want anyone who has curiosity about the meaning behind my sign to be responsible for their own learning and to look for the multiple resources out there that talk about the history of U.S. Imperialism," said Villadolid.
Organizer Sharon Hoshia said, "It was really important to have an event that we not only mourned and acknowledged those that have been killed, but also to make our Asian and Pacific Islander community here in Santa Barbara more visible. We tend to be the more invisible group here. We have lots of restaurants, markets, nail salons, and massage parlors that are owned and operated and staffed by a lot of Asian people, but we never see them all together, and we really felt like not only are we invisible to the community, but to each other and this was a way to try and call people together in a way that we all acknowledge through our different backgrounds that the fact is the anti-Asian violence is happening and doesn't distinguish what our different nationalities are, and we feel like it's important for us to find a way that we can stand together as well as acknowledge this kind of environment is hurtful to all of us in order to come together like this. It gives us a sense of unity, a sense of really feeling like there is a community here so it was important for us to do that."
Community allies joined them including Dudley Conneely of Eyeshine, an organization that works with blind children and adults.
Conneely said he decided to participate in the demonstration to support the Asian community.