News outlets recently began reporting on tensions between Asian Americans and African Americans in Baltimore, following the unrest after the death of Freddie Gray.

Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, issued the following statement on behalf of four leading Asian American civil rights organizations, including:

Advancing Justice | AAJC, Advancing Justice - Atlanta, Advancing Justice — Chicago and Advancing Justice — Los Angeles.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family of Freddie Gray and urge the city of Baltimore to act swiftly in investigating the circumstances surrounding his death. Baltimore is home to many diverse communities, and during this time of unrest, it’s easy to frame the story as one about negative race relations between Asian Americans and African Americans. But the tension and anger in Baltimore between communities of color is not simply about race; it’s merely a symptom and consequence of a neglected community. The real story is the economic injustice and the desperation of families struggling to survive in Baltimore. What we’ve learned from history — in both Los Angeles after the Rodney King beating and more recently in Ferguson — is that we must fight together to ensure that there are more economic opportunities for all communities. We must also acknowledge the pain communities are experiencing, recognize the biases that we hold, and refuse to allow ourselves to be pitted against each other.”

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all.

The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice - AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice - Atlanta, Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice — Chicago and Advancing Justice- Los Angeles.