By Hong Yan Tan

In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, APANO is bringing our audience content all month-long, all centered on the theme of Building Power. Each week will see a different topic, all connected by our central theme. This week’s topic: Education Justice.

二年前,当我女儿还在幼儿园上学时,我女儿在应该上课的时间内离开教室。我在学校外面行使车辆的街道上找到她。我十分不满意老师的工作和对孩子的安全问题十分不负责任。我要求让我的女儿转学,却遭到老师和幼儿园指导师的千方百计地阻拦。为了掩饰她们犯的过错,利用他们的职权阻止。我尝试过投诉她们,但是没有人能帮助我们受到的不平等对待。幼儿园的一位中文工作人员给我介绍了俄勒冈州亚裔太平洋组织的教育经理JEANICE。她是一个非常友好的人。她努力帮我们争取了应有的权利。我女儿成功转学到另一间学校。我女儿现在新学校学习非常开心。

JEANICE给我很多正面的影响。我意识到我自己要学习美国学校不同的文化是很重要的。当我们受到歧视我们不能事事忍让。我们要知道如何站出来,把自己的故事说出来。我积极决定参加俄勒冈州亚裔太平洋组织的父母领导课程。我们学习如何帮助我们的孩子当他们在学校受到不公平待遇的时候和如何帮组孩子学业上成功。我很开心在这个课程上认识到很多友好的中国家长们。我们在第一节课上互相分享了自己到美国的辛酸,大家都为彼此感动!家长们互相尊重和帮助。我感觉到俄勒冈州亚裔太平洋组织是一个很安全的地方可以说出自己的辛酸经历,也是一个很温暖的地方让我们的伤口慢慢愈合!我还学习到关于亚裔在美国的历史。我们明白美国这个社会还是白人有特权和能力控制很多事情,但是不同在我们国家的是,在美国,我们有权利发言去争取自己想要的权益。

我希望我的孩子在学校能够学业成功,作为一个家长,我有权利去争取平等权益。如果我们不说,那些有特权的人就会帮我们做决定。在将来,我希望我们生活在一个种族平等的国度,所以我们要发言去争取属于我们的权益!


By Hong Yan Tan

Three years ago, my daughter was in preschool.  My daughter left her classroom one day while in school.  I found her walking on the street, outside of the school driveway. That was so dangerous! I was thoroughly dissatisfied with teacher’s work and her not being responsible for child’s safety . I asked that my daughter be transferred, but the teacher and head start superintendent used every conceivable means to obstruct me. They used their official power to stop me and they tried to gloss over their errors. I tried to complain but nobody listened to me. I felt it was unfair. That is when a Chinese head start staff, Qing Tan, introduced me to APANO’s education manager Jeanice Chieng, who worked hard to help me. My daughter successfully transferred to another school and is happy in her new school.

I am so appreciative of APANO and Jeanice. APANO and Jeanice have been of great influence. I recognized how important it is to educate myself. We are living in U.S, which has different culture than my home country. We will not just obey and accept it when we experience racism.  We have to stand up, and speak out about our story.

Since I have joined APANO’s Chinese parents leadership class, I have been so happy to get to know a lot of friendly Chinese parents. I was so touched when we shared our life experiences in our first class. I teared up for a lot of parents who shared their difficult time and racist experience within the education system and their lives. I feel APANO is a safe place for us to share and heal. I learned about API history and know that white people still have the power and privilege and control much.
I want my kids have a success life in school. As for me, I would like to use my parental rights against racial injustice . In the future, I hope we can live in a world with no oppression, and no racism in this country.  We all need to advocate. Thank you.

APANO’s work includes organizing around education justice to make sure our parents, youth, and young adults have the support, resources, and skills to shape solutions.  To support this work, please consider donating to APANO so we can continue our education justice. As if that was not a good enough reason, as awardees of the Coulter Foundation, all donations to APANO at $100 or more will be matched dollar for dollar- that means you can double your gift and extend its impact!

Want to see what others have created for AAPI Heritage Month? Find a list of our Heritage Month posts here!

Follow APANO during heritage month by using hashtags #APIsBuildingPower and #AAPIHM, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter: @APANONews.