Tag Archives: Allyship & Solidarity

Calling on Congress to Deliver a Permanent Pathway to Citizenship

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Urges Congress to Commit to a Pathway to Citizenship and Visa Recapture After Parliamentarian Recommendations (December 17, 2021)

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is extremely disheartened by the Parliamentarian guidance further blocking relief for millions of undocumented community members. We will not stop fighting until Congress delivers a permanent pathway to citizenship.

Adhikaar along with Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP) releases the following statement urging the Senate to disregard the Parliamentarian and provide green cards to millions: “This third rejection by the Parliamentarian clearly shows that she has no intention of approving any form of immigration relief to be included in the Build Back Better Act, despite very clear and significant budgetary impact. Senators must not allow a non-elected Senate staffer to subvert the will of the people via a purely advisory opinion. Senators must fulfill their duties to our communities and legislate what is right. The only way to do this is by including permanent residency in the Build Back Better Act.” Read their full statement here!

HANA Center and Undocumented Community Members Respond to the Parliamentarian’s Third Recommendation: “This Changes Nothing. Vice President Harris, Disregard the Parliamentarian!” Read their full statement here!

VietLead stands with Movement of Immigrant Leaders in Pennsylvania and New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia in their call to include a pathway to citizenship in the budget reconciliation. Read more here: Pennsylvania Families call on Vice President Harris and Senate to Include a Pathway to Citizenship in Budget Reconciliation.

Coming Together to Fight for Justice for Christian Hall

Asian Americans United (12/30/2021) – Today is the anniversary of Christian Hall’s death. He was 19 when he called 911 for help during a mental health crisis. He was shot by the Pennsylvania State Troopers, who were responding to his call for help. Today, communities are coming together to mourn and to honor Christians life. Please find a vigil near you and get involved by going to justiceforchristianhall.com.

JUSTICE FOR CHRISTIAN HALL – TAKE ACTION NOW

Our mission is to fight for justice for Christian Hall by inspiring and promoting impactful police reform that includes strategized medical responses, instead of law enforcement responses, to mental health calls for help. These are some of the most critical issues we will face through the power of civic engagement. Join our community of activists and allies as we work towards a better and more just world for all marginalized people.

Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP) Joint Statement: Southeast Asian Americans Unite in Solidarity and Demand Justice for Soobleej Kaub Hawj

Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP) and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) has issued a joint statement to demand justice for the murder of Soobleej Kaub Hawj on June 28, 2021, at the hands of officers while fleeing the Lava Fire in California. Moreover, we demand that Siskiyou County officials and the Board of Supervisors end their discriminatory water ordinance and invest in resources to build meaningful relationships with Hmong and SEA communities. Read the full joint statement that was signed by 11 community partners and TAKE ACTION!

Support Workers’ Rights and Labor Organizing

As workers are standing up for their benefits and rights, various community organizations have been advocating for immigrant, essential, and/or excluded workers during the pandemic and the pandemic recovery. Read more about some of the campaigns and news on workers’ rights and labor organizing coming from our Shared Liberation Network Partners and how you can get involved below:

DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving will continue the fight to fully Fund Excluded Workers! Thousands of eligible New Yorkers are being shut out from the fund. NY must boost the fund. Stay connected to organizations like DRUM to join the fight and stay informed about next steps.  In the News: New York Set Aside $2.1 Billion for Undocumented Workers. It Isn’t Enough – DRUM leader Afshana was featured in NYT article about the Excluded Workers Fund. Excluded workers like Afshana who have been shut out from the fund they fought for are calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to expand the fund by $3 billion! The Fund Excluded Workers Coalition is calling on Gov. Hochul and NYS Legislature to add $3 billion to the fund to cover workers who have been shut out from the fund. Visit their Excluded Workers Fund Resource page for more information.

Justice for Muslims Collective – Muslim Immigrant Workers of Washington, DC Exihibit –  Muslim immigrant workers are essential workers who remain an integral part of the backbone of Washington, D.C. In late 2020 and early 2021, we conducted oral and visual histories of five Muslim immigrant workers through the DC Oral History Collaborative for inclusion in the city’s official records. These interviews focus on how the workers are treated at their workplace, the obstacles and discrimination they face, and their journeys of joining and participating in labor movements. We have excerpted passages from these interviews and organized them into the following exhibit themes. Please continue supporting Muslim workers by considering a donation to the Muslim Workers Fund. The fund provides direct support to community members in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area who were directly impacted by COVID-19. With your contribution, the fund is able to continue its mission to serve our essential workers in their time of need.  

JMC COVID 19 Townhall with Workers – JMC also held their first public event and townhall on the impact of COVID19 on Muslim communities based on their report on the impact of COVID19 that you can read here. During the townhall, they discussed the findings from the report, heard from community members, and shared information about their new fund that is open for essential workers here.

Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) is a nonprofit that educates, organizes and empowers the low-income and working class immigrant Chinese community in San Francisco to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people. CPA has been organizing with workers in San Francisco’s Chinese immigrant community since the 1970s. CPA’s Tenant Worker Center programs include wage theft case support, hospitality job training program, community education and outreach, grassroots leadership development and policy advocacy. Read about how workers at a popular Chinatown restaurant won $1.61 Million in a massive wage theft settlement.

Southeast Asian Freedom Network – SEAFN – Last week (AUGUST 2021), the Senate approved a $3.5 billion budget resolution that included a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, farmworkers, TPS holders and essential workers. As the budget reconciliation moves forward, we must make sure we reject any criminalization of our communities.

 

Stop AAPI Hate Leaders Named to TIME’s Annual TIME100 List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World

Statement: Stop AAPI Hate Leaders Named to TIME’s Annual TIME100 List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World

September 15, 2021 — TIME has named Stop AAPI Hate co-founders, Cynthia Choi, Manjusha Kulkarni and Russell Jeung to the 2021 TIME100 annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

“It is a great honor to be recognized for this award among this list of influential leaders,“ said Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and executive director of Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. “This work would not be possible without the bravery and strength of our respondents and the AAPI community at large, and we want to thank them for their willingness to speak out against injustice. This award is a testament to the fact that our advocacy work is being valued, and it validates our fight against Anti-Asian hate.”

The full list and related tributes appear in the  Sept. 27 / Oct. 4 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, Sept. 17, and now at time.com/time100. The list, now in its eighteenth year, recognizes the impact, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.

In March 2020, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate coalition in response to the alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition is renowned for being the leading aggregator of anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander hate incidents, ensuring the AAPI community is not being ignored and advocating on its behalf by providing technical assistance, from rapid response to preventative measures and supporting restorative justice efforts.

“We hope any attention received through this incredible honor sheds light on the issues still at hand,” said Russell Jeung, Ph.D., co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. “Since we began tracking data, the reports we receive show a sustained, devastatingly high number of racist attacks against Asian Americans. 2,478 reports were made to our center between April and June 2021, bringing the total number of incident reports to 9,081 since we started collecting data in March 2020.”

“This award encourages us that our work is far from over,” said Cynthia Choi, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. “As anti-Asian hate incidents reach an all-time high, we must continue to hold our leaders accountable and fight for more holistic solutions to combating hate in schools, workplaces and places of business. We need to invest in education, community led safety initiatives that address immediate harm and address root causes, know your rights campaigns, and legislation that reinforces human rights and civil rights protections for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.”

Follow @TIME for updates about the list on Twitter and Instagram and at Facebook.com/TIME.

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TIME.COM: “In a turbulent year, as the U.S. has seen a surge in racist, anti-Asian attacks—from terrifying assaults on senior citizens to the tragic mass shooting in Atlanta—no coalition has been more impactful in raising awareness of this violence than Stop AAPI Hate. Since its start, the organization has logged more than 9,000 anti-Asian acts of hate, harassment, discrimination and assault across the country.”

“San Francisco State University professor Russell Jeung, who had been an East Oakland, Calif., organizer for Cambodian and Latino youths since the ’90s, founded Stop AAPI Hate in March 2020 with veteran activists Cynthia Choi, co–executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, and Manjusha P. Kulkarni, executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. They created a place where Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders could file firsthand accounts of racism they had experienced—the types of incidents that have long haunted our communities but gone unreported by government agencies and the media and unnoticed by others.”

“Stop AAPI Hate has become not only an invaluable resource for the public to understand the realities of anti-Asian racism, but also a major platform for finding community-based solutions to combat hate. And its leaders have locked arms with other BIPOC organizations to find restorative justice measures so that civil rights—for all vulnerable groups—receive the protection they deserve.”

View the TIMES.com article here

 

 

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Statement of Solidarity From the Asian American Leaders Table on 9/11

Chinese Progressive Association: To mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Asian American Leaders Table invited us and our colleagues in the Asian American and racial justice movements to remember and reflect on the past 20 years. We asked ourselves: How did the tragedy affect me, us, and our community? What are we still grappling with as communities of faith and communities of color? How do we use our collective power and resources to build a truly inclusive nation? Click the link below for some reflections that our Arab, Muslim and South Asian leaders offered and for the full statement of solidarity from the Asian American Leaders Table with additional resources:

STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY FROM THE ASIAN AMERICAN LEADERS TABLE ON 9/11

September 10, 2021

As a network of local and national Asian American organizations that convened in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working together to address the rise in anti-Asian violence. Together, our collective voice has been louder and stronger in uplifting the shared strength of our communities and speaking out against racism and violence.

It is in that spirit that we offer reflections and commitments upon the 20th anniversary of September 11th and its aftermath. 9/11 lives in our memories as a day of unspeakable loss and pain. In the days, weeks and years that followed 9/11, we witnessed an unprecedented rise in hate violence, bullying, profiling and workplace discrimination targeting members of South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh communities. In addition, government policies instituted in the US and abroad as part of the War on Terror led to war and torture, surveillance and profiling, and detentions and deportations. In response, South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh organizations and advocates organized, resisted, and strengthened the power of grassroots movements.

To mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Asian American Leaders Table invited our colleagues in the Asian American and racial justice movements to remember and reflect on the past 20 years. We asked ourselves: How did the tragedy affect me, us, and our community? What are we still grappling with as communities of faith and communities of color? How do we use our collective power and resources to build a truly inclusive nation?

Here are some reflections that Arab, Muslim and South Asian leaders offered:

“This narrative to fear and suspect Muslim and Middle Eastern communities has created this culture of scarcity that makes us think ‘well at least it isn’t us,’ rather than a culture of abundance that assumes there is enough freedom, enough humanity for all of us.”

“I’d like us to stop apologizing for 9/11. We were never supposed to have been apologizing to begin with. Stop forcing us to explain things we had nothing to do with.”

“We cannot continue to center our solutions around law enforcement. This doesn’t mean there’s no accountability when a hate crime is committed, but that as we seek whatever the currently available means for justice that do exist in our flawed system, that we also invest in creating the alternative.”

“Let’s start conversations, call each other in, and avoid engaging in the tactics used to divide us. Let’s have compassion as we work for accountability. Let’s listen more, empathize and work to build community and alliances across movements.”

“What we’ve become much more aware of in the last 20 years is an understanding of a history of state violence targeting immigrant communities of color in the US. We’re talking about immigration bans, surveillance, forced removals, mass roundups, detentions and deportations. We need to be prepared now, because there will be a racial backlash against Afghans here and we have to stand against that in solidarity and to protect the refugees arriving on our shores.”

“I’m hopeful that we will be able to continue to grow our communities’ power and do it in an intersectional, multigenerational way. The young people we’re working with now know nothing of the pre-9/11 experience. This is their reality, and that’s their future.”

On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Asian American Leaders Table recommits ourselves and our organizations to building deep and meaningful solidarity with South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh communities. We condemn the misguided policies and climate that have targeted and harmed communities on the basis of their faith, race, national origin, and additional identities.

As we reflect on our collective movement for freedom and justice, we also acknowledge that Asian Americans can do much more to advocate for the rights of South Asians, Muslim, Sikh and Arab Americans. This means that we pay close attention to our own rhetoric and messages to avoid falling into stereotypical language or national security justifications. It means that we do not compromise on the rights of Muslim, Arab, South Asian and Sikh communities in advocating for public policies. It means incorporating the histories and perspectives of communities targeted in the wake of 9/11 within Asian American movement curricula and political education. It means recognizing that we are working against a shared source of oppression, and finding the commonalities and connections between the Islamophobia that profiled Muslims in the aftermath of 9/11 to the xenophobia that incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II to the racism that’s driving the rise in anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We commit to learning from programs that are anchored in transformative solidarity such as Bridging Communities where the Japanese American Citizens League and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (and later involved the Council on American-Islamic Relations) brought together Muslim and Japanese American youth to visit Manzanar, building connnections from a shared history of being treated as outsiders in their own homes.

We also look to Vigilant Love as another way to move forward. Created in a time of rapid response following the 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, this Los Angeles-based group of Muslim and Japanese American leaders are challenging Islamophobia through direct action, political education, and arts performances.

We look to the solidarity between the children of incarcerated Japanese Americans who stood side by side with Muslims and Africans affected by the Trump Administration’s Muslim and African bans.

Our work will continue beyond the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Today, we are witnessing another consequence of the War on Terror with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Our communities add our voices to the call for welcoming Afghan refugees to the United States.

As Asian Americans, it is our responsibility to step up and speak out. Solidarity in a post-9/11 America asks us to acknowledge the pain and injustice inflicted on Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian communities; to stand together as Asian Americans, engaged in a steadfast practice of building relationships beyond our identity groups; and to commit to our collective movement for freedom and justice. We are here to answer that call.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES – We’ve compiled a list of additional resources and initiatives related to the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This is a non-exhaustive list; please further research and support Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA)-led organizations.

Take Action Against Anti-Asian Violence and Racism

Our network partners have worked In allyship and solidarity across marginalized groups and have continued to call on community members to report hate incidents, condemn anti-AAPI and racist sentiments, attend workshops and bystander intervention trainings, and call for greater accountability and policy responses from elected officials. Community groups and activists have also provided support systems and spaces for community members to reflect in the current moment, learn more about the long history of anti-Asian violence in the United States, as well as support those who have experienced hate themselves. Here are some ways you can take action against anti-Asian violence and racism:

Stop AAPI Hate has published a survey on state and local resolutions, which found that only 18 states and 49 of 3,073 (1.6%) counties have enacted resolutions in opposition to anti-Asian hate. You can use their 50-state survey to find out if your state or local representatives have stood up against hate (download it at https://bit.ly/3dzQmRl) and learn how your elected officials can take action by taking a look at their template resolution (download it at https://bit.ly/3qJygSq)

Donate to the Support the AAPI Community Fund campaign! This fund aims to condemn incidents of anti-Asian violence and create lasting social change as AAPI voices are amplified and empowered while we address broader, systemic problems. With the donations received through the Fund, GoFundMe.org will issue grants to trusted AAPI organizations working to rectify the racial inequalities in our society. Other fundraisers through the website include:

  • Fundraisers for AAPI Justice – Verified fundraisers helping those affected by violence against the AAPI community
  • Fundraisers for AAPI Neighborhoods – Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) neighborhoods have been struggling to survive since the beginning of COVID-19. Take action to revitalize and preserve AAPI culture in your local community by donating or sharing the verified fundraisers on this page, or by donating to the general fund supporting various AAPI organizations.
  • Fundraisers to uplift the AAPI community –  Support various AAPI efforts determined to increase awareness around inequalities, create solutions, and inspire hope within the community. Take action by donating or sharing the verified fundraisers on this page or by donating to the AAPI Community Fund, supporting various AAPI organizations.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago is offering various Bystander Intervention Trainings throughout July. To combat the current rise in harassment and discrimination and to also proactively prepare for the future increase of hate incidents, Advancing Justice | Chicago is partnering with New York-based nonprofit Hollaback! and CAIR-Chicago to plan and implement an aggressive scaling up of locally-led bystander hate incident intervention trainings for community members. 

Help Chinese for Affirmative Action and 150+ community-based organizations and the California API Legislative Caucus #FaceTheHate and fight for the passage of this historic proposal that would go beyond general condemnations of hate and address the structural inequities and injustices that API communities have grappled with for generations now. Together, we can pass the API Equity Budget. You can download their #FaceTheHate toolkit to get started.

Watch this Facebook live event from Cia Siab, Inc where community members learned how to effectively respond as a bystander and how to form a safety plan from some of the Cia Siab, Inc. staff. Members of the community can also continue to report hate incidents through Cia Siab, Inc’s Hate Incident Form at www.ciasiabinc.org/hateincidentreport

OCA Greater Houston is also offering Bystander Intervention Training in August and September. Learn how to help people targeted by identity-based bigotry and harassment. Register today at https://houstonagainsthate.org/BIT This FREE 1.5-hour, interactive training will teach you Hollaback!’s 5D’s of bystander intervention methodology. We’ll start by talking about the types of disrespect — from microaggressions to violence — that people with marginalized identities face and the history of identity-based violence. You’ll also learn what to look for and the positive impact that bystander intervention has on individuals and communities. We’ll talk through five strategies for intervention: distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct; and how to prioritize your own safety while intervening. We’ll have time at the end for practice, and you’ll leave feeling more confident intervening the next time you see identity-based harassment online or in person.

 

 

Address Anti-Blackness through Racial Justice Discourse

As we continue to work towards social and racial justice, incidents of anti-racism and xenophobia in AAPI communities has also brought forth calls for racial solidarity to dismantle anti-Blackness in our communities and understand the role of white supremacy in our struggles toward shared liberation. Here are some ways to take action, continue your education to address anti-blackness, and help fight against attacks on social justice discourse:

VAYLA’s AAPI Rising: Uplifting AAPI Means Dismantling Anti-Blackness Event – Over the past year, the uptick of anti-Asian incidents has reminded us that racism and violence against AAPIs is not new. Through much grief and pain, our AAPI community is strengthened through solidarity. As AAPI communities move forward and overcome increased anger, fear, and violence, it is critical for us to recognize and dismantle anti-Blackness in our communities and understand the role of white supremacy in our struggles toward shared liberation. Watch the recorded session and listen to the community and conversation around addressing anti-Blackness with our own family, community, elders, and navigating internalized white supremacy.

Join the crucial fight to defend the truth with the African American Policy Forum’s #TruthBeTold Campaign – “After unprecedented global protests for racial justice that followed the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, right-wing groups across America instigated and intensified well-funded, orchestrated disinformation campaigns against critical race theory, intersectionality, and other forms of racial and gender justice discourse.” Visit their website to learn more about how to respond to these organized attacks and find the latest updates from the disinformation and legislative campaign against critical race theory, social justice discourse, and race and gender education. This website also offers articles, research, and critical analyses that help explain the who, what, where, and why of the coordinated attacks on critical race theory, racial justice, and anti-racist education (including useful explainers of critical race theory, research into the structure of the disinformation campaign, political analysis, and more).

As an organization of Muslim women committed to building sisterhood and advancing social equity, Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment has continued to open space for our community to learn and grow as anti-racist activists, advocates, and allies. Please visit their anti-Blackness resource page to learn about places to begin or continue your anti-racism journey. These resources include

To commemorate Juneteenth and celebrate to forge stronger alliances across Asian American and Black movements and communities, North Carolina Asian Americans Together encouraged us to take part in actions, gatherings, and rallies across the nation, both in our communities and online. Support organizations in North Carolina like Black Voters Matter, NC Black Alliance, NC BLOC (Black Leadership and Organizing Collective), BYP 100 Durham, SpiritHouse, and Wake County Black Student Coalition that are fighting for Black lives and all of our collective liberations. 

 

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New Way Forward Act for Southeast Asian Refugees

NBC: Asian American community advocates say a new immigration reform bill reintroduced in Congress on Tuesday can become a pathway for Southeast Asian Americans who have been deported to return to the U.S. or who are in deportation proceedings to stay in the country.

Reintroduced by Reps. Jesús  “Chuy” García, Pramila Jayapal, Karen Bass, and Ayanna Pressley, the New Way Forward Act seeks to decriminalize immigration and tackle systemic racism in the country’s immigration system. Key components of the bill include: eliminating mandatory detention, redefining convictions, ending deportations based on certain convictions, restoring judicial discretion for immigration judges, creating a five-year statute of limitations for deportability, and establishing an opportunity to come home for certain deported individuals or non-citizens in deportation proceedings.

Advancing Justice and SEARAC issued the following joint statement: “This landmark legislation re-envisions the United States’ severely flawed and racist immigration enforcement system. The New Way Forward Act would restore fundamental due process protections and compassion back to our immigration system. For the last several years, our country’s outdated and unjust immigration laws have been used to deport our communities at an unprecedented level. As we look to eliminate mass incarceration and create a racially just society, the New Way Forward Act is an essential step toward justice and equity for immigrant and refugee communities. We need to provide a way for those individuals who were unjustly removed to have the opportunity to come home and be reunited with their families.”

Read more about the news story here. Find out how you can take action today by following Advancing Justice and SEARAC’s action alerts to contact your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the New Way Forward Act! Find the digital tool kit here.