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‘May We Gather’ Returns to Honor Victims of Anti-Asian Hate

Event Includes March 16 Pilgrimage in Antioch, Online Speaker Series


FYI:

For more information about “May We Gather 2024,” visit: www.maywegather.org


The March 16 event in Antioch, California, will be held from 12 to 5 p.m. PST at El Campanil Theater, 602 W. 2nd St., Antioch. To register, go to: https://www.maywegather.org/register


In addition, the 2024 event will feature “Resilience, Recovery, Repair,” a speaker series on Jan. 24, Feb. 8 and Feb. 21 funded by the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative and co-hosted by Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. 


For more information, go to the website at: https://tricycle.org/events/resilience-recovery-repair/ 


 

On May 4, 2021, an unprecedented gathering of Buddhist lineages and ethnicities was held at the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles with the message of healing after the murder of eight people in the Atlanta, Georgia, area — six of whom were women of Asian descent.


That event was held on the 49th day after the murders. In many Buddhist traditions, 49 days after death marks an important transition. In keeping with the Buddhist ritual cycles of mourning and remembrance, “May We Gather: A National Buddhist Pilgrimage for Asian American Ancestors” will commemorate the three-year memorial of the Atlanta-area killings through two related events this year.


An in-person pilgrimage and peace walk is scheduled on March 16 in Antioch, California. Antioch was chosen as the site of the 2024 pilgrimage because its white residents burned down the city’s Chinatown in 1876. The violence was precipitated by the scapegoating of six Chinese women for spreading immorality and illness and paralleled the targeting of six Asian massage workers in the Atlanta-area shootings.


“We gather in Antioch to recover this history, to acknowledge the legacy of America’s racial karma as demonstrated by the Atlanta-area shootings and the ongoing racial violence in Antioch, and to heal as a Sangha,” the May We Gather collective said in a statement.


Among the Buddhist ministers who will participate in the Antioch event will be Rev. Harry Bridge, Resident Minister of the Buddhist Church of Oakland, and Rev. Candice Shibata, Resident Minister of the Buddhist Church of Stockton.


The two-hour ceremony and pilgrimage will be held at 1 p.m. PDT on March 16. The event will feature Buddhist chanting, Dharma reflections from six women Buddhist leaders, a communal peace walk, and a Daoist memorial ritual, followed by an informal community reception. 


To register for the in-person event, go to: https://www.maywegather.org/register


To offer more context for the 2024 pilgrimage, May We Gather is also hosting “Resilience, Recovery, Repair,” a online speaker series on Jan. 24, Feb. 8, and Feb. 21 funded by the Asian Pacific American Research Initiative and co-hosted by Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.


For more information, go to the website at: https://tricycle.org/events/resilience-recovery-repair/ 


“Resilience, Recovery, Repair” will bring together community elders and leaders, historians, archaeologists, educators, and spiritual teachers. The series builds on discussions generated from the first May We Gather memorial in 2021, and will highlight topics central to the May We Gather 2024 memorial pilgrimage. 


“The May We Gather collective recognizes that marginalized communities across traditions have experienced physical oppression and the violence of having their sacred sites destroyed,” the collective said in a statement. “We consider these experiences interlinked. The parallels we observe in the 1876 burning of Antioch’s Chinatown, the fatal shootings in Atlanta, and ongoing acts of aggression toward communities seen as ‘others’ are a reminder that racial, religious, and gendered violence affects us all.”




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