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Not in Our School and AsiaConnect ISU, Honors the Eight Lives Loss

Written by on April 24, 2021

NORMAL, Ill. – Community reigned true in the Uptown Circle last night. Support crowded the hill in front of the Children’s Discovery Museum to honor the lives that were lost on March 16 in the Atlanta spa shooting.

NIOS student organizer, Aditi Sharma kicked off the vigil.

Student organizers shared the realities of their lives. One of the organizers Yvin Shin says the ceremony was to help start discussions on what has been happening in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

“Anti-Asian sentiment and anti-Asian violence both emotional and physical that has existed in this town long before what happened in Atlanta. So, it’s really about acknowledging every victim of anti-Asian sentiment and giving everyone in our community a chance to get together and grieve,” said Shin.

A memorial in honor of those who died will be preserved in the McLean County Museum of History.

Throughout the ceremony, guests were given LED candles to later raise during a moment of silence. The candles were then placed around a memorial to commemorate the lives lost. Guests were also given the option to leave tokens because the memorial will be preserved by the McLean County Museum of History.

The BloomingtonNormal’s NAACP Branch was invited to the vigil to speak on unity and togetherness. President Linda Foster explains the importance of the people coming out to support.


Bloomington-Normal’s NAACP Branch President Linda Foster spoke on unity at the vigil.


“It means and it shows that the community is engaged and inclusive with all of its citizens. It shows that there is compassion and there is passion for us to become one community. Just because it has a title does not mean that it is just one group of people,” said Foster. “There is a diverse group of people here to support and to recognize the idea that everybody is a human being and deserves to be treated as a human being.”

The night included music selections from student organizers and music played by University High School Orchestra.

Supporters of the community in attendance for vigil.