On May 11th, ReconciliAsian was invited to participate in Pasadena’s first Peace-Source Fair. This event was organized in conjunction with the Pasadena Area Gun Buyback in front of the Pasadena City Hall from 11-3pm. Our friends, Melissa Hofstetter and Jill Shook, initiated this unique event in partnership with local faith-based organizations and the Pasadena police department. In just 100 days, they raised over $20,000 mainly to issue gift certificates for those who surrendered their arms. At the end of the day, the gun buyback helped to take 135 guns off the streets!
ReconciliAsian set up a cooler filled with iced green tea which did attract many visitors to our booth since it was a very warm day. As the only Asian American organization present in the fair, we wanted to publicly introduce ourselves to the larger local community and build relationships with other peace-promoting organizations in the Pasadena area. One of the women who approached our booth shared about the need for more multi-ethnic churches and non-profit organizations to participate in promoting peace in the community. The obstacle of language and culture is significant as we try to reach out to a significant part of the population who often become victims of gun violence.
One of the most moving parts of the event was hearing the stories of women and children who have been victims of gun violence. This fair provided a platform for them to share their stories of survival and the urgent need for gun reform. We were grateful that we were able to participate in the first of such event and look for ways to continue engaging the local community towards peace.
For more details of the day’s event, please read the article featured in Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ak47-sniper-rifle-135-guns-collected-at-buyback-20130512,0,4459223.story