Tag Archives: Narrative

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.

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities invites Black Pasifika specifically to join in conversation with one another to share space and perspectives from the skin you live in as Black AND Pacific Islander. This discussion will be facilitated by Jason Finau and Savali Andrews, two maternal cousins with a shared identity but different upbringings and journeys forward as African American Samoans raised on the west coast in the US. This space will convene on the second Friday of every month. “Black Pacific Alliance Join us every 2nd Friday for conversations on the Black + PI experience. Our next meeting is Friday, January 14th, 2022 | 6-8 PM (PT) For more info or to join, please contact: [email protected]

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.

U.S. Senate and House Budget Resolution

HANA CENTER – “On August 24, 2021, the US House of Representative passes the budget resolution, a $3.5 billion budget resolution that included a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, farmworkers, TPS holders and essential workers. Now that both the Senate and the House have passed the resolution, we’re closer than we’ve ever been to a path to citizenship!” 

“The fight isn’t over yet. Even if they passed the resolution with funds set aside for a pathway, they will now start writing the bill. In the coming weeks, they will decide who will be covered and who will not. Congress also could decide to use this fund for constructing “smart fences” and militarizing our border.”

ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE – “We are one step closer to a pathway to citizenship and clearing the family immigration backlog! Asian Americans Advancing Justice celebrates as the House Judiciary Committee passed out of committee last night the immigration legislation in the FY 22 Budget Reconciliation Package that included:”

  • A pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, essential workers, and farmworkers
  • Provisions to begin clearing the family and employee-based visa backlogs
  • Provisions to provide green cards to diversity visa program lottery winners who were not able to receive them due to the former administration’s immigration bans, including 3,800 Afghan recipients

“Over 100,000 Asian undocumented immigrants, approximately 15,000 Nepali TPS holders, and tens of thousands of Asian Americans on nonimmigrant visas could benefit under these provisions. We thank the tireless advocacy from undocumented youth, organizers, and communities across the country that has led to the inclusion of key measures in the most promising legislative vehicle to begin transforming our deeply flawed immigration system.” Read their full statement here.

Asian American Civil Rights Organizations Calls Passage of Senate Budget Resolution a Historic Step for Immigrant Rights – Washington, D.C.—August 12, 2020— “Yesterday, the Senate budget resolution passed along party lines and included increased funding for education, climate change, healthcare, childcare, economic aid for families, and a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants. It now moves to the House to take up the budget resolution.” Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent Asian American civil rights organizations, releases the following statement:

“Eleven million undocumented immigrants, including 1.7 million undocumented Asian American and Pacific Islander immigrants, deserve a pathway to citizenship now. Citizenship for DACA recipients, TPS holders, farm workers, and essential workers provides a foundation to improve the lives of millions of people, their families, and their communities. 

With the Senate passage of the budget resolution, we’re one step closer to offering citizenship to millions of people who came here as children, arrived fleeing war and disaster, or help us care for one another as first responders, caregivers, food system workers, and so much more. With a pathway to citizenship, our friends, neighbors, and co-workers can get the help they need to pull through the pandemic, live without fear of being separated from their loved ones, access better education and job opportunities, start new businesses, and exercise their right to vote – embracing what it means to live a full life in the place you call home. We call on the House to swiftly pass the resolution. Relief for millions of immigrants is long overdue.” 

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!

The TEAACH Act in Illinois

Illinois has become the first state to mandate that Asian American history be part of its public school curriculum thanks to advocacy efforts from numerous individuals and organizations, largely led by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago.

Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act (HB 376) will paint a more complete picture of our shared history by adding Asian American history to the Illinois School Code. The TEAACH Act will ensure that Asian American stories and experiences are highlighted in Illinois, not just the stories of Asians outside the United States. 

NBC Chicago: Pritzker Signs Law Making Illinois First State to Require Asian American History Be Taught in Schools

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday [July 9, 2021] signed into law a new measure making Illinois the first state in the U.S. to require Asian American history be taught in public schools. Pritzker signed House Bill 376, the Teaching Equitable Asian American History or TEAACH Act, at Niles West High School in suburban Skokie. The new law requires every public elementary and high school in the state to devote a unit of curriculum to the history of Asian Americans in the United States.”

“We are setting a new standard for what it means to truly reckon with our history,” Pritzker said in a statement. “It’s a new standard that helps us understand one another, and, ultimately, to move ourselves closer to the nation of our ideals.”

“The curriculum must include “the events of Asian American history, including the history of Asian Americans in Illinois and the Midwest, as well as the contributions of Asian Americans toward advancing civil rights from the 19th century onward,” the legislation reads.”

“These events shall include the contributions made by individual Asian Americans in government and the arts, humanities, and sciences, as well as the contributions of Asian American communities to the economic, cultural, social, and political development of the United States,” per the new law. The law takes effect on Jan. 1 and the requirement begins with the start of the 2022-2023 school year.”

Read more about the TEAACH Act from Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, who was the lead organization in this effort.

 

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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.

Restoration of COFA Medicaid Access in COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

AAPI community leaders have praised the passage of the coronavirus relief bill (December 2020) that includes Medicaid access for Pacific Islanders, specifically for the Compact of Free Association (COFA) communities (citizens of the Marshall Islands, Palau and Micronesia) that have been most impacted by COVID-19. This is a historic decision would revise and fix a drafting mistake from the 1996 welfare reform bill that excluded health care from Medicaid for the COFA community. 

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) released a statement applauding the restoration of COFA Medicaid access in the stimulus bill. Tavae Samuelu, Executive Director of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), said: “Medicaid restoration has been a decades long fight, one that began at the moment of exclusion. I’m grateful to the COFA leaders who’ve been some of the most impacted by COVID-19 and continue to be at the helm of caring for our communities.” Read NCAPA’s full statement here.

Building Upon AAPI Organizing During the 2020 Election

Reflecting on the community mobilization and organizing they engaged in during the 2020 election, our network partners are committed to continuing to defend and protect the right to vote, increase AAPI voter turnout and representation, and organize to make sure policies and elected officials reflect our community concerns and conditions. Read some of the statements and campaigns our network partners have released after the 2020 election, showcasing how they plan to continue the fight for democracy, the strategies they utilized and learned, and how you can get involved in future elections and their civic engagement efforts.

After the election, DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving announced the tasks they had of defending the right to vote, defending the integrity of election results, and getting organized to continue building independent working-class power. As community members are facing, “imminent evictions, facing unemployment, still grieving their loved ones lost to the pandemic, being brutalized by the police, or waiting in long food pantry lines,” DRUM recognizes that our interests and needs are not being reflected, thus reinforcing the need for us to continue to build community power. Read more about their campaign and how you can learn here: http://bit.ly/PowerSafetySolidarity 

Hmong Innovating Politics noted that, “despite millions of dollars stacked against them, our young people, volunteers, and outreach specialists did an outstanding job in mobilizing residents in Fresno and Sacramento. They spent countless hours on the phone, engaged thousands of first time voters, helped contact 35,000 AAPI voters throughout the Central Valley, and were part of a multi-racial, multi-generational coalition that drove the largest AAPI voter turnout in the history of California.” HIP is committed to continuing to train leaders, build with their allies to ensure immigrant communities are represented in politics and decisions, and connect with community members who are still disconnected and are not civically and politically engaged. Read HIP’s entire post-election reflection here.

Reflecting on the 2020 election and beyond, Freedom Inc stated: “We won because we engaged over 13,000 Black and Southeast Asian folx in Dane County and raised consciousness around the multiple oppressions we are living through. We won because we have learned how this current system works and we know we are better equipped to govern ourselves. We won because we mobilized roughly over 3,000 people to the streets, to show that WE, THE PEOPLE, hold COLLECTIVE POWER, and when WE MOVE, our oppressors shake. We organized our communities to envision liberation; that vision mobilized our communities to demand change and deliver this win.” Freedom Inc. will continue to fight to hold systems accountable to community demands through mutual aid efforts and grassroots community-led campaigns. Read their entire statement here and sign up to volunteer with Freedom Inc. to help build power at bit.ly/CPBvolunteer.

Organizing Against ICE and Protecting Immigrants and Refugees

Our network partners have been advocating for immigrant and refugee rights and protections as they organize against ICE, defend asylum, advocate to end deportations in our communities, and work to free our community members from immigration jails, prisons, and detention facilities. View and read more about some of the campaigns and advocacy efforts our network partners are involved with and find out how you can help:

Adhikaar has joined the Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP) with four other immigrants rights and grassroots organizations to amplify the needs and experiences of the African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Asian/Pacific Islander (API) communities. This collaboration was founded based on the need to build power, mobilize, and galvanize within our communities. Together, they will fight for permanent residency for all TPS holders. Support their efforts by donating here: bit.ly/adhikaardonate

HANA Center participated in Chicago’s #FreedomTogether car caravan with other immigrants rights groups from across Illinois. They called on President-elect Biden and Congress to end deportations and family separation, pass inclusive COVID-19 relief regardless of immigration status, and introduce legislation with citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants. Support the HANA Center and find out ways you can volunteer here

Asian American Resource Workshop: “On November 19th, the Trump administration proposed a new rule to ban work permits for people on Orders of Supervision (OSUP): those who have been ordered deported but are temporarily released from custody. This includes tens of thousands of Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees who have resettled to the US and rebuilt their lives after being displaced by the war in Southeast Asia. Join us in protecting our friends, families, and community members by submitting a public comment opposing the proposed work ban on work permits by Monday, December 21st.”  Learn more and take action at https://tiny.cc/ProtectWorkPermits

 

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Support Community Building and Mobilization in 2021

As 2020 comes to an end, we are reflecting on the monumental advocacy and community organizing that took place to address anti-AAPI racism, increase allyship and solidarity with other communities of color, respond to the socioeconomic and health challenges during COVID-19, and encourage voter participation and increase AAPI representation in the 2020 elections. As we continue to build power and fight for an equitable recovery in 2021, there are many ways you can help support our network partners and contribute to their community outreach and engagement services, programming, and campaigns. Here are some of our network partner campaigns you can support:

Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon: “At APANO, we will continue to cultivate that strength, connection, and care in 2021 as we heal, rebuild, and create the future our communities deserve. In 2021, APANO will continue to respond to community needs as we have done throughout this year. We have distributed over $1 million in relief including meals to BIPOC households, gift cards to community members, and grants to API-owned small businesses. Amidst it all, we continue to build the power of Asian and Pacific Islander leaders and communities. We have shown up for each other in this difficult year, and we will need to do so in 2021 as we recover and reimagine our world. While we understand that giving may be challenging this year, if you are able, please make a year-end gift to help APANO support, mobilize, and nourish our community.” Donate to our Grassroots Asian Environmental Leadership Fund now to support our organizing in 2022 and beyond.

Asian Pacific Environmental Network: “Since 1993, we’ve been building deep roots in California’s Asian immigrant and refugee communities. From cultural events like Rice & Water Festival in Richmond to our annual International Women’s Day event in Chinatown, we work year-round to build community in working-class immigrant and refugee neighborhoods across the East Bay. Our communities sustain our cultures and our families. And if there’s one thing this year has shown us, it is that we all depend on each other — on strong, resilient communities — for our health, our wellbeing, and our survival. This #GivingTuesday, build community in working-class Asian immigrant and refugee neighborhoods across California by donating to APEN. We need to raise $10,000 by the end of the year to power our community organizing in 2021 and beyond. Will you help us reach our goal? Donate now at donate.apen4ej.org/EOY or please SHARE if you are unable to donate at the moment!” 

Chinese for Affirmative Action: “As 2020 comes to an end, CAA’s mission to build a multiracial democracy is more important than ever. This year, there are several ways for folks to demonstrate their support. Whether you make a direct donation at givedirect.org/caa/donate2020 or finish your holiday shopping on smile.amazon.com [and select CAA as your charity of choice], this is your chance to join us in championing civil rights, education equity, immigrant justice, and more.”

Chinese Progressive Association of San Francisco: “With rapid shifts in the political and economic landscapes, we’re expanding our capacity and doubling down on civic engagement and political education with our base, lifting up their voices in advocating for economic and racial justice! We know we need all of us to keep each other safe, protected, and thriving. Together, you can be a part of our movement to shape the future of our communities.” Contribute at https://bit.ly/3q4o3zg

The Coalition of Asian American Leaders: “An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish. A group of one thousand origami paper cranes (折鶴, orizuru) held together by strings has come to stand as a universal symbol of hope and healing. At the end of a tumultuous year heightened by natural disasters, COVID-19, and civil unrest, CAAL launches its month-long #PaperCraneWish campaign from December 1 – December 31, 2020 as a much needed symbol of hope. Every crane you fold brings us one step closer to our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000 to support our fight for a more equitable and just future.” To make a donation today and learn more about this campaign, visit www.caalmn.org/papercranewish

CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities: “It’s been a chaotic time, but also a time full of openings and charged with energy. Throughout the pandemic, CAAAV has been organizing our communities both virtually and on the ground to build grassroots tenant power! And we know that despite what happens, the future is ours to build. We need to imagine a world in which local elected officials are actually accountable to the people. In 2021, we will continue to build militancy within our membership to stop eviction, fight for full funding in public housing, and for the cancellation of rent. Can you help us continue the fight in 2021? Donate now to our The Future is Ours To Build fundraiser! Every dollar supports organized working-class people and the fight for a more equitable New York City.”