Club-sponsored walk peaceably fights anti-Asian hate

Published 04.26.2021

Student News
Faculty & Staff

The One World Club, one of Penn College's newest student organizations, sponsored a “Stop the Violence, Keep the Peace” walk around campus Monday afternoon in support of the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

Valisno, who spoke at Monday's event, has a clear message for anyone who sees Asian Americans as outliers.Faculty, staff and students march across campus in unity with Asian Americans.Club officer Dessa D. Valisno, a business administration: marketing concentration major from Williamsport, asked "Why have so many of us not talked about this before?"

She related a number of targeted attacks over the years: violence and verbal abuse that have escalated during the coronavirus pandemic, including the fatal assault on an 84-year-old Thai immigrant in San Francisco and the stabbing of several Asian American family members in a Midland, Texas, warehouse store.

"Because of this, I stopped getting my mail alone, I stopped walking my son alone. Pretty much, I stopped doing anything alone," she said, noting her heartbreak at people being bullied and harassed simply for who they are.

"There are many things that we can do to be responsible citizens, and one of them is to always be an active bystander. If you see something happening, do something," Valisno told participants outside the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.

Katie L. Mackey, assistant director of disability services, puts purposeful pen to paper in a sign-making activity.Anti-hate buttons were among the resources available to march participants."Do not tolerate stereotypes, not even jokingly. And the most important thing is to please check in with anyone you know that is an Asian American Pacific Islander. Please stand with us; we might not be publicly grieving in social media, but we do need you."

Following the remarks, a group of faculty/staff and students walked a campus loop in a show of empathy and support.

Photos by club President Angelyvette Santana, a radiography student from Scranton,
and Sammie L. Davis, coordinator of diversity and student engagement