Asian American Business Leaders and Public Figures Denounce Atlanta Shootings, Condemn 'Deliberate' Attacks Amid a disturbing surge of biased violence against the Asian American community, everyone from small-business owners to advocacy organizations and celebrities are desperately urging the public to end the hate.

By Justin Chan

In the wake of the Atlanta shootings that left eight people, six of whom were Asian women, dead on Tuesday, Asian American business leaders came together to decry the increasing number of hate crimes against the community.

On Wednesday, Ascend, a nonprofit Pan Asian organization for business professionals, released a statement on Twitter in response to the tragedy reading, "We're deeply saddened by the news of Atlanta violence and growing number of deliberate attacks against Asians across the nation. We condemn these attacks and stand in solidarity with the Asian American community in Atlanta and across the US to #stopasianhate."

Related: How Should You Be Talking With Employees About Racism?

With more than 18 professional chapters and 40-plus student chapters in both the U.S. and Canada, Ascend is one of the largest Pan-Asian organizations that serves Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) businesspeople. Gold House, a nonprofit collective of Asian Pacific Islander (API) entrepreneurs, also urged the public to support the API community.

"We want you to grieve for these 8 people," the organization tweeted the night of the shootings. "We want you to check in on your API friends and neighbors. But we also want you to know that we're fired up and are actively planning tonight. When life gets tough, we get tougher. More to come."

Georgia officials initially declined to call the shootings a hate crime, asserting that the investigation is still pending. At a press conference, Cherokee County public information officer Capt. Jay Baker suggested that the suspect, who claimed to have been motivated by his sex addiction, had "a really bad day." Baker was widely criticized for minimizing the epidemic of violence against Asian-Americans, who have been victims of nearly 4,000 reported hate crimes since the pandemic started.

Frustrated, public figures such as fashion designer Prabal Gurung persisted in denouncing the shootings and parallel violence. "Enough is enough," Gurung tweeted on Wednesday. "Yes, we are grieving, and we want you to grieve with us for these eight lives lost and countless others. We want you to feel our pain and the pain of many innocents elders, women and our people from the AAPI community who have been attacked and harmed."

In a lengthy Instagram post, restaurateur and film director Eddie Huang echoed Gurung's sentiments, writing, "This was a coordinated attack on multiple Asian businesses with 6 Asian victims. Stand with us, speak up with us, and if there is any humanity in you, recognize that our pain is yours as well. No one should be targeted and murdered because you don't like the color of their skin, PERIOD."

And reflecting Ascend's concerns, Asian business owners across the country told CNN that they now feel particularly vulnerable. "I have 18 employees, and I have run my salon for 25 years. I am scared," one unidentified nail salon owner from Long Island shared. "My husband told me that no matter how long I will live in the United States, I will never be seen as an American because of my Asian face."

The victims who died in Tuesday's attack have been identified as Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Hyun J. Grant, Soon C. Park, Suncha Kim and Yong A. Yue. One man, Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, survived.

Wavy Line
Justin Chan

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Justin Chan is a news writer at Previously, he was a trending news editor at Verizon Media, where he covered entrepreneurship, lifestyle, pop culture, and tech. He was also an assistant web editor at Architectural Record, where he wrote on architecture, travel, and design. Chan has additionally written for Forbes, Reader's Digest, Time Out New YorkHuffPost, Complex, and Mic. He is a 2013 graduate of Columbia Journalism School, where he studied magazine journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @jchan1109.

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.

Growing a Business

Subscribers Exclusive Event: Discover How These 2 Founders Turned Their Side Hustle into a Million-Dollar Lifestyle Brand

Learn how you can transform your personal brand into a thriving business empire with co-founders of The Skinny Confidential


Take Your Social Media Earning Potential Sky-High With This $79.97 Quadcopter

Get this beginner-friendly drone for a great price for Father's Day.

Health & Wellness

Sleep Better, Snore Less, and Stay Cool with This Tech-Packed Pillow, Now $49.99

Let technology help you sleep better with this 8-in-1 cooling pillow.


How do You Turn Employees Into Problem-Solvers? Follow This 3-Step Leadership Formula.

As leaders, we need to solve company problems effectively. We often have the urge to fix everything quickly, but is this system of problem-solving really sustainable?