May 14, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
Two city council candidates who are vying for seats in western Queens are hosting a community conversation on hate crimes and race relations in Woodside Saturday.
The “raw conversation” will be co-hosted by Ebony Young, an African-American woman who is running to represent the 26th Council District that covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. She will be joined by Yi (Andy) Chen, an immigrant from China, who is vying to represent District 25, which covers Jackson Heights and Elmhurst.
The conversation will be moderated by Lisa Helmi Johanson of the racial justice group Interfaith Justice Queens.
The event, called Queens Unite!, aims to bring the community together through open discussion. Key topics will include the loss of Black and Brown lives to racism, as well as the spike in hate crimes targeting the AAPI community.
The event is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. at Woodside Memorial Plaza, at the intersection of Roosevelt and Woodside Avenue in Woodside. It is expected to end by 2:30 p.m.
“There’s power in unity. If we can stop searching for the negative it leaves room for an open door to change,” Young said.
Meanwhile, Chen, a resident of Elmhurst, says the event is about building a sense of community.
“We are all in this together,” Chen said. “Today and everyday, we stand together and united we fight back.”
Local youth poets are also expected to speak. They too will address the racial climate.
The event is open to the public and community members are invited to speak and join the discussion.