All posts by Ray Garrido

It’s time again for the Kitsap Great Give!

Join us on April 20th for 24-hours of online giving to Kitsap non-profit organizations. You can get a jump start today with early giving, which takes place from April 1st to 19th. Your gift helps immigrants integrate into our community and into American life. Giving generously during the Kitsap Great Give provides emergency assistance for those affected by the pandemic, legal help, English tutoring, access to medical and dental care, and so much more!

In 2021, we are working to reach more clients with expanded services.

  • Family Services will start offering car seat checks this spring. We will also launch our first Teen Talking Circle with trained, bi-lingual facilitators, for 7th-8th grade girls at Mountain View Middle School this spring, with a second group later in the year.
  • Immigration Legal Services is already taking more calls from immigrants who need legal help. We will train more Accredited Representatives, passionate and trained volunteers who assist immigrants through their legal matters, to meet this growing need

Take your gift farther by making your donation during the Kitsap Great Give, on April 20th.

Bonus money can be added for participating organizations, so give during the Great Give, and grow your contribution! With your partnership, we can do so much more!

Click here for more information on the Kitsap Great Give.

We Stand With the Asian Community

Delaina Ashley Yaun

Xiaojie Tan

Daoyou Feng

Paul Andre Michels

Soon C. Park

Hyun J. Grant

Suncha Kim

Yong A. Yue

These are the names of the eight human beings whose lives were brutally cut short in this week’s massacre in Georgia. Seven of those killed were women. Six were of Asian descent. One was a white man. Another man, Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, remains hospitalized in critical condition. All were shot in a coordinated series of attacks on three different spas. The suspect, a 21-year-old white male, is in custody.

We mourn with everyone impacted by this violence.

We are heartbroken.

While the investigation is in the early stages, the suspect has denied race was a motivation in his murderous rampage, and instead pointed to sex addiction as his motivation for the attack. Regardless, it is clear that misogyny and racism are two faces of the same toxic sense of entitlement that white supremacy cultivates and enables.

Violent crime against people of Asian descent has been on the rise throughout the pandemic, spurred in large part by the scapegoating of Asian communities by the previous administration.  Discrimination against Asian people, however, is a part of our long history of racism and white supremacy, which goes back to the very beginning of this nation.

Asian women are disproportionately targeted in hate crimes. Recent data from Stop APPI Hate shows that 68% of hate crime reports are made by Asian women. The Georgia shooting, directed at women who work low wage jobs, underscores the vulnerability of marginalized people in our society—whether due to race, gender, socioeconomics, age, immigration status or any other factor.

This is a deeply sorrowful time in our country. We take this moment to mourn, and then we rise once again to act. It is time for the hard work of reflection, learning, accountability, and reaching out. It is a time to center and support Asian communities, and a time for action that demands meaningful, and lasting change.  

We are committed to informing ourselves about these issues, and to treating everyone with respect and dignity.

We are committed to the work of dismantling white supremacy, and doing our part to make sure that racism does not continue to tear down families.

We hold the loved ones of the dead and injured  in our hearts, and grieve with them.

In sorrow and solidarity,

The KIAC team

“A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve.”

Photo by
Getty Images, 2021

Somehow we weathered and witnessed
A nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
There is always light
if only we are brave enough to see it
if only we are brave enough to be it

“The Hill We Climb”      
Amanda Gorman, Inaugural Poet

In his Inauguration speech this morning, President Joseph R. Biden proclaimed that today is “A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve.” He urged us to write a new American story of hope, not fear; of unity, not division; of light, not darkness. To once again be a beacon to the world.

 Our country has long been known as a nation of immigrants– a beacon to the world– reflecting not only our diversity, but also a shared belief in liberty, justice, and opportunity. A place of refuge to those fleeing persecution. Just today, Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants, was sworn in as the nation’s Vice President.

Throughout the last four years, KIAC has deepened our efforts to work on behalf of immigrants in our community.  Despite attempts to limit access to lawful immigration, KIAC persisted in aiding clients in their pathways to citizenship.  We helped families reunite through the process of lawful immigration.  We fought for asylum for immigrants who left violence and corruption to seek a better life in America. We stepped up to meet the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on immigrant communities. The past four years have challenged us, but also galvanized us to meet the test.

Today, as we celebrate this new chapter in the American story, please know that KIAC is resolved to continue our work on behalf of immigrants.  We share the hope and the belief that our nation is not broken, only unfinished.