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Edmonds artist battling hate with beloved tradition

Fay Lim is fighting hate crimes against the AAPI community.

EDMONDS, Wash. — Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month has an even deeper meaning this year given the rise in hate crimes against the Asian community.

Now, Edmonds artist Fay Lim is fighting back using a beloved Asian tradition to foster harmony. Lim is making jewelry adorned with cranes.

Asian culture is steeped with the imagery of cranes. They symbolize hope, peace and happiness. Those are three things that have been lacking since the start of the pandemic.

"It's very traumatic, very personal," Lim said, wiping away a tear. "It makes you afraid of who you are and sad of who you are."

From March 2020 through the end of 2021 there were nearly 11,000 reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Nearly half of them happened in plain view, in public places. More than 60% of them were against women.

Lim said she was inspired to create her jewelry after a high-profile attack on a young Asian woman in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District – when a man hit her in the face with a sock filled with rocks.

She was also inspired by attacks on her own friends and family.

"One of them was almost pushed off the deck down by the wharf," Lim said. "She can’t swim. Think about that. Why would we want to go out? Just because our eyes are different, our skin, our hair?"

Lim is donating all of the proceeds from her cranes to the advocacy group “Stop AAPI Hate.” Over the course of the past year she has raised nearly $3,000.

As one legend goes, if you fold 1,000 origami cranes a wish will come true. Lim’s wish is for all of us to realize we are one race – the human race.

"I’m hopeful," she said. "But we’ve got a long way to go."

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