FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Washington, DC—The Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) expresses their deep condolences about the ongoing wildfires that are ravaging the island of Maui. As of this morning, the four fires engulfing the island are considered to be widespread across the island, with the town of Lahaina being particularly devastated, with a death toll of 55 individuals and rising. AASF mourns the significant losses resulting from these fires, both in terms of human life, homes, businesses, and community heritage. AASF recognizes the urgency of addressing these fires, safeguarding the environment from future disasters, and the necessity of rebuilding the community once the fires are contained.
AASF Executive Director Gisela Perez Kusakawa said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives in one of the deadliest wildfires our country has ever seen and what may be the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history. The fires continue to pose an immediate threat to the residents and visitors, as well as impact the cultural and historical sites that hold profound significance. AASF is holding the residents of Maui, their families, and the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities impacted in our thoughts, and we hope the devastation will be contained quickly so that communities can mourn and rebuild. I urge our scholar community to come together and help those directly impacted during this time of crisis in our country.”
Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) is a national non-profit that promotes academic belonging, openness, freedom, and equality for all. In response to heightened anti-Asian sentiments and profiling in the U.S., AASF has been a leading national voice fighting for the rights of Asian American and immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars. AASF membership includes members from the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, in addition to past and current university presidents, provost, vice provosts, deans, associate deans and past and current department chairs.