A Statement from April Janney, President & CEO of Illinois Action for Children, on the Recent Violence Against the Asian-American Community

March 22, 2021

As an African American woman, I am heartbroken by the continued violence and disregard for human life we see in our nation. The horrific murders in Atlanta last week are the latest terrible reminder of just how pervasive and dangerous of a force racism is in our society.

Over the past two years, there’s been a stark and deeply troubling increase in hate crimes against members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community here in the U.S. Nearly 4,000 of these incidents of violence have occurred in just the past 12 months alone.

As an organization whose mission is to serve children, families, and communities, Illinois Action for Children condemns the violence that has been inflicted against the Asian-American community.

When a racist, sexist, and/or misogynistic attack happens to any of us, it affects all of us. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We, as a society, must say loud and clear that racism, hate, and violence cannot prevail. Whether it be by the hands of those charged with protecting us, by institutional laws that fail to ensure protection, or at the hands of our own neighbors, we must denounce all actions that continue to erode the very foundation of the American Dream.

May – less than 6 weeks from now – is Asian-American Heritage Month. It should be a time to celebrate, uplift, and honor the history and incredible contributions of our AAPI brothers and sisters to this country. We stand united in this fight to eradicate prejudice, discrimination, hate, and violence from our society as we reaffirm our commitment to equality and justice for all.


April Janney
President and CEO
Illinois Action for Children