We condemn the senseless violence and shooting in Atlanta that has caused the murder of eight individuals. While the investigation into motive is still ongoing, the reality is that Asian-American communities feel targeted right now.

We cannot disregard the possible racial, gender and misogynistic sentiments that potentially motivated this heinous crime. The uptick of hate crimes against Asian-Americans preceding this attack is real, and we must acknowledge the negative impact that these attacks have had on Asian-American communities.

We must also acknowledge that some establishments – possibly like those targeted in this case – are, in fact, illicit massage businesses (IMBs), in which thousands of women are trafficked across the United States. We are committed to re-doubling our efforts to understand and dismantle the systems and businesses that allow human trafficking to flourish in this country and around the world.