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Denver Asian Collective holds safe space to support each other

A community space was created for those remembering the shooting deaths of 8 people in the Atlanta area a year ago.

DENVER — Today marks one year since a man shot and killed eight people in the Atlanta area – six of the victims were Asian women.

People across the country recognized today as Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Remembrance Day.

Here in Colorado, the Denver Asian Collective created a safe space for Asians to seek support and process what they're feeling. 

"Today is going to be a really complicated day for Asians," said co-founder of the Denver Asian Collective Yeong Cheng. 

Whether you're an immigrant, child of immigrants, mixed race or adopted, you are welcome here.

"This space is for all Asians regardless of their experience so that we can support because the reality is we're not a monolith," they said. "We don't all have the same needs."

Cheng said the goal is to support Asians however they need.

RELATED: 'There's more to our community than hate crimes': Colorado's AAPI community reflects on importance of celebrating culture, heritage

"I think a lot of us, because we don't reckon with the racism that we experience because we're told not to or we don't experience it...we're very unprepared," they said. "So, for a lot of Asians going into this day might have feelings that they might not have even processed yet."

RELATED: 'We want to celebrate Asian joy': Spike in Asian American hate crimes sparks movements for change

That's why this space is especially important one year after the shooting deaths of six Asian women in the Atlanta area.

"This is a sex worker issue, first and foremost. This incel set out to kill sex workers. Racism caused him to conflate that with Asians," said Cheng. "We can't erase sex workers because they were the ones targeted."

They've created a space where they can validate each other, process the pain, anger and sadness all while being their authentic selves. 

"Community spaces are something that's really important to me," said Laura Williams.

Williams found this event on Instagram, seeking community during a vulnerable and difficult day. 

She's adopted and said her Asian identity has always been complex for her. So today, she found people to navigate this with, together. 

"Trauma that happens in relationship gets healed in relationship," said Williams. "It just feels really healing to see people care about the same things I care about and what it means to be Asian."

The Denver Asian Collective also provides a directory of Asian therapists for those looking for more support.

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