Updated: Aug 13, 2021
Statement Supporting Wacoans of Asian Descent
By Suzii Paynter March, CEO
National attention has focused in recent days on anti-Asian racism. This is not a new problem, but the killing of six Asian-descent persons in Atlanta has brought it to the fore.
Prosper Waco is committed to equity throughout our community and through every endeavor we undertake. We speak up on anti-Asian racism and stand alongside our Asian-descent neighbors, families, business owners, and community leaders. We express our concerns about racism and equity across all ethnic and racial lines. Personally, I am deeply concerned about both violence and anti-Asian words and actions that our Asian neighbors endure.
McLennan County has 5,220 residents of Asian descent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 estimates. That is 2.1% of county residents. Of those, 3,701 people of Asian descent live in Waco (2.7%).
Asian-Pacific Islanders are an important part of our community as business owners, educators, faith leaders, healthcare workers, dedicated employees and families, just as are all of the racial/ethnic groups. No one should be subject to racial aggression or other, more serious, aggressive behavior.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Now is time for the non-Asians of Waco to show our neighbors that we care about them and they are valued, supported, and they matter to us.
We must all work together to ensure this is a community where they never experience racist aggression.
Last August, the Prosper Waco Board of Directors adopted a statement on racism. Some of that language bears repeating here:
Prosper Waco expresses a renewed commitment to equity because current circumstances require more concerted efforts. Equity involves the fair and impartial treatment of people and organizations for justice. It’s a core value of Prosper Waco, and the pursuit of equity is essential to a thriving community. . . .
Working toward equity is central to the success of the work of Prosper Waco. We cannot fulfill our mission to bring measurable improvement to the lives of all members of our community without an accountable commitment to equity and justice.
We celebrate and enhance the strengths that are shaping Greater Waco, but we can only truly prosper as a community if we seek to understand and address the greatest challenges in our midst.