AAPI Montclair held its first ever Lantern Festival for Justice and Remembrance Friday night at Edgemont Park. There was a performance by Montclair Orchestra members, and speakers including Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Montclair Councilor At Large Bob Russo, Montclair Schools Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Ponds, Bishop Carlye Hughes, Alice Young, Khyati Joshi, and AAPI’s founding members Julie Kim and Linda Kow. Russo spoke about appointments of Asian Americans to town advisory committees; Dr. Ponds spoke to issues of diversity and inclusion in Montclair Public Schools and addressed concerns raised by AAPI students and families.
There was also a sea of lanterns that bathed the night in a beautiful, healing light. Edgemont Park was transformed into an illuminated memorial for victims of anti-Asian hate and other forms of racist violence. Participants were able to dedicate lanterns with personal messages and the well-attended event brought the community together for a meaningful moment of reflection.
Photos: Kristin Wald