ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Asian Americans and people from all backgrounds gathered at the Academy Park in Albany for a rally on Monday to “Stop Asian Hate”. This comes a week after the shootings in Atlanta claimed the lives of six Asian women.

Hundreds of people in the Capital Region of all ages and varied racial and ethnic backgrounds came together to share their own stories and call for an end to hate against Asian Americans.

“We saw the need to come together and vocalize our concerns. We wanted to join the national movement in what’s happening right now,” said Jinah Kim, Owner of  Sunhee’s Farm and Kitchen in Troy.

Although still early in the Atlanta shooting investigation, police said their suspect claims he had a sex addiction. But the shooting targeting Asian owned business comes amid increased violence against Asian Americans during the pandemic.

Organizer Jinah Kim says this rally was an important step.

“It gives me hopefulness that we are entering into this platform which we can speak out about. But I think ultimately my heart just really broke for the people who were in Atlanta. I thought about my own parents, who are first generation immigrants,” said she.

Organizer Ronald Kim said said this demonstration is a chance unify the Asian American voice in the Capital Region.

“It shows that we are taking steps to solve the problem. We just need a little bit more of a push and we will get there,” said he.

The rally saw all age groups including young and old to learn about the importance of ending racism. 5-year-old Mars stood by his mom Xiaosheo Hou, waving his sign.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for him to know what’s going on in this country. It’s also a chance for him to learn how to be part of civic participation so early on on,” said Hou.

Organizers said this rally was the first step in starting the conversation to shine light that Asian American hate does exist.