January 22, 2023 Joint Statement By Culver City Unified School District Governing Board Members Triston Ezidore and Stephanie Loredo
Last night, an act of gun violence occurred in Monterey Park, California when 10 people were killed in a mass shooting during a Lunar New Year celebration. The assailant is still at large and the investigation is ongoing. We acknowledge that the tragic loss and interruption of so many lives due to the ongoing gun violence in the U.S. may be affecting our Culver City community in different ways.
It is deeply disturbing that a violent incident during an Asian American cultural celebration has happened so close to home. While we still do not yet know the motivations of the shooter, Culver City has zero tolerance for violence and hate. As the two sitting elected officials in Culver City of Asian descent, we denounce the rise in violent acts that strike fear into the hearts of our communities, as well as the forces which have facilitated that rise, and urge fellow leaders to counter these crimes by bringing communities together. In April 2021, CCUSD passed a resolution affirming the district’s commitment to the well-being and safety of Asian Americans, denouncing Anti-Asian hate and xenophobia. Our community should feel they can safely gather to celebrate cultural traditions without the fear of gun violence. We are not going to let this violence stop us from sharing our culture. We hope the victims' families and their community find safety, love, and justice for what has happened.
As details about last night unfold, we will continue to consider the ways we can serve our community through resources and events, including connecting through school site organizations and affinity groups. Many of us will be reflecting on what we can do to prevent future violence. We encourage you to conduct your own research and support movements and organizations that aim to end gun violence and empower Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders and the communities in which they live like Women Against Gun Violence, Stop AAPI Hate, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice SoCal.
When tragedies occur, many of us try to continue with our daily lives; we understand it can be difficult to balance work or school and your emotions. Our school district supports our community and we are ready to provide the help that people need to cope with this tragedy. For our students and staff at CCUSD, please talk to a counselor, peer, colleague, or friend if this occurrence is affecting you. For more information on how to speak to your children about traumatic events: How to Talk With Your Kids About Traumatic Events by Dr. Kevin Nadal, Psychology Today, July 2022.
Triston Ezidore and Stephanie Loredo