Community Vigil Held to Honor Woman Killed on Chrystie Street

Faith leaders and community members gathered for a vigil yesterday in Sara D. Roosevelt park to honor the memory of the woman who was killed on Chrystie Street on February 13th. The event was organized in partnership with the New York Coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Churches (NYCAAPIC), which was created after the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings. A spree of Asian hate crimes and violence against AAPI people has continued throughout the pandemic, here in New York City, and in other cities across the country.

Many women in particular, banded together, to plan and coordinate Saturday’s event. The group wrote on instagram, “…the violence against AAPI women across our city grieves our hearts. Today we gathered together to mourn, reflect, breathe, speak, hug, & pray.”

Family and friends requested that the woman’s name not be used.

Community organizers were on hand to offer remarks and support during the vigil. Resources, including counseling and mental health services were shared. An interactive chalk art project offered participants an opportunity to create messages of hope and healing in a communal mural.

Grace Choi, one of the founders of NYCAAPIC, said in opening remarks, “I remember after what happened in Times Square, how scared I was to take the subway and just walk around and feel safe on my own streets…I don’t want to be afraid of our neighbors, I don’t want to be afraid in our city…I needed my Asian sisters’ embrace…it really has helped with the collective lament and pain and hope…”

Another woman in attendance told The Lo-Down she used to live on Chrystie Street. The Grand Street subway stop was her stop, but that she had been too scared to get off at the stop or come back to the neighborhood since the murder happened, two weeks ago. She was grateful to be able to participate, and to help organize the event, because she hoped it would be a positive way for neighbors to come together and grieve with each other, in a way that would lift people up.