By Christopher Nyerges

Pasadena Weekly Contributing Writer

Due to the rise in Asian hate crimes, about 70 people marched against the attacks, starting at Loma Alta Park in Altadena, on March 28.

Dena United, a coalition of social justice organizations within Altadena, organized the event. Coming together for the organization are My Tribe Rise, Soul Force Project and SURJ Altadena.

After an inspirational talk by Pastor Steven Wong, the group peacefully walked down Lincoln Avenue to Charles White Park. There, speakers shared their thoughts on the problem and what can be done about it.

Altadenan and musical teacher Alma Cielo performed a spiritual piece on her violin. She talked about growing up Filipino and yet had no connection to her roots. She left Yale and moved to the Philippines to study and learn about her heritage.

Other speakers shared their stories of personal identity, racism and the fear of speaking out because of cultural assumptions.

“This must stop,” said Casty Fortich, who is Filipino American. “We need to stop this racism. If we’re kind to each other, maybe we can put an end to this.”

Altadena Councilmember Dorothy Wong shared her challenges of finding her identity, especially after moving to LA from Hawaii.

“As in the natural world, we are stronger together,” said Wong, who added children are the future. “Our society is divided, and we must be mindful of each other. We can make a difference if we work together. Now is the time for opportunity and change.”