Clayton Speaks focuses on violence and hate toward Asians

Clayton Speaks focuses on violence and hate toward Asians

Clayton Speaks focuses on violence and hate toward AsiansCLAYTON, CA — As part of the ongoing conversation on race relations, Clayton Speaks will host a Zoom discussion on anti-Asian violence at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28.

Clayton resident Jonathan Lee, a professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, will moderate the discussion entitled “The Rise in Violence Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”

On April 10, Lee organized a rally in the Grove to protest hate speech and violence after controversial encounters with a neighbor – including the display of the Confederate flag and verbal threats.

“Anti-Asian violence and hate did not begin during the pandemic; instead, it has been occurring for centuries and often times been ignored,” says Clayton City Councilmember Holly Tillman, who helped launch Clayton Speaks last spring. “Given the more recent uptick in violence, we wanted to offer this forum as a place to have a conversation to not only hear their personal stories but learn how we can all be better allies and share steps we can take to care for ourselves, our families and our neighbors – locally and beyond.”

A Conversation with Neighbors

In this fourth session in the series Race Relations: A Conversation with Your Neighbors, fellow professors will join Lee and other community members for a two-hour discussion.

The panel will include:

Yuria Celidwen (Nahua/ Maya), PhD.

Randall Yip, founder/editor of AsAmNews.

Grace J. Yoo, PhD, MPH, Asian American Studies professor at San Francisco State.

Loan K. Le, PhD, professor at San Francisco State and president of the Institute for Good Government and Inclusion in Oakland.

Wei Ming Dariotis, Asian American Studies professor at San Francisco State and faculty director of the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Cecily “Halcyon” Diaz (They/Them), Clayton resident.

Ria Shin, Clayton resident.

Susan Shih, assistant principal at Castro Valley High School.

Yu-Chiao Chang, MA student in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State.

Sandra Sengdara Siharath, co-owner of Angela’s Day Care.

Dawn Lee, PhD, faculty director, professional and organizational development, at De Anza College.

Race and inclusion

The city does not sponsor Clayton Speaks, which Tillman and “a group of engaged citizens” organized to begin an open dialogue about race and inclusion.

Community attendees will not be on video and will be muted upon entry, but they will be able to ask questions to the panel and use the “raise hand” feature. The webinar will be recorded and shared later on social media. Tillman says it will be the most interactive forum to date.

“We welcome any questions from the community for consideration as panel questions and encourage the audience to share their experiences, both positive and negative,” she says.

“These topics are difficult for many, and we ask that everyone remain respectful while we engage in these necessarily uncomfortable conversations,” she adds, noting that inappropriate language and trolling will not be tolerated.

For more information, contact

Bev Britton
Bev Britton
Copy Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer |

Bev Britton graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota and moved to the Bay Area with her soon-to-be husband Jim in 1986. She was features editor at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek before becoming managing editor of the Contra Costa Sun in Lafayette in 1995. She retired from newsrooms in 2001, but an ad for the Clayton Pioneer drew her back in. The family moved to Lake Wildwood in the Gold Country a few years ago - but working at the Pioneer keeps her in touch with her old neighborhoods in Concord and Clayton.