The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) Statement on Three Palestinian Students who were shot in Vermont

(San Francisco, CA, November 26, 2023)– Following the shooting of three Palestinian college students in Burlington, Vermont, TAAF Chief Executive Officer Norman Chen issued the following statement in response:

“We are deeply disturbed to hear about the shooting of three Palestinian students on Saturday evening in Burlington, VT. We hope for the swift recovery of Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ahmad and urge authorities to thoroughly investigate this attack in order to determine if hate motivated this crime. 

This shooting comes amid a surge in anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, and antisemitic sentiment and violence. According to The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), there has been a 216% surge in reports of bias over the previous year. In addition to the assault on a seventh grade Muslim student walking home from school in San Francisco, CA, and the stabbing of two Muslim students in Fremont Hub in the Bay Area, CA, earlier this month, this incident just adds to the fears for a community already targeted by discrimination since the crisis in the Middle East began in October.

When we allow hateful rhetoric and xenophobia to become normalized, it cultivates a culture where violence against communities is seen as acceptable. TAAF does not tolerate hate in any form and we remain committed to creating a safer society for all communities and working with all who share this vision.”

About TAAF

TAAF serves the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in their pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander, and violence. Founded in 2021 in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate and address the long standing underinvestment in AAPI communities, TAAF invests in best in class organizations working to mobilize against hate and violence, educate communities, and reclaim our narratives through our core pillars of Anti-Hate, Education, Narrative Change, and Resources & Representation. Through our grants, high-impact initiatives and events, we're creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for millions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For additional information about TAAF, please visit