Over 2,000 lanterns light up New Jersey park to remember anti-Asian hate victims


More than 2,000 lanterns illuminated a local New Jersey park in an event that remembered and called for justice for victims of anti-Asian hate.

Key points:

  • Hundreds reportedly attended the Lantern Festival for Justice and Remembrance at Edgemont Memorial Park in Montclair to honor victims of violence and injustice, including anti-Asian hate.

  • The festival is organized by AAPI Montclair, a nonprofit founded amid the surge in anti-Asian hate incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • It featured remarks from notable figures, live performances, food and drinks.

The details:

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  • Over 2,000 lanterns were lit up across the park. Attendees dedicated each lantern to a loved one who was harmed or killed by violence.

  • The festival, now in its fourth year, was organized by AAPI Montclair, a local nonprofit founded to address public school incidents amid the rise of anti-Asian hate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The organization has since expanded to include advocacy at the local and state levels, events promoting cultural awareness and understanding, statewide educational initiatives and resources empowering the AAPI community.

  • The event saw remarks by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, Amol Sinha ofAmerican Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)-New Jersey, Jafreen Uddin of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Emmy-winning TV host Buki Elegbede. It also featured live performances, food and drinks.

  • “It's one of the few times of the year where I feel like there are a lot of the Asian community all in one place,” Chris Lin, a resident of Glen Ridge, told News 12 New Jersey. “There's not a high percentage of Asians in New Jersey where we live. It just feels like there's lots of us in one place, it really feels like community and special.”


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