June 5, 2020

APANO's Commitment to Black Lives

Photo credit: Black Lives Matter Resource Page

At APANO, we unequivocally support Black Lives Matter and acknowledge our own role within systems that uphold and protect white supremacy. We recognize that we all benefit from anti-Blackness because we exist in a society that was built on the forced-labor and exploitation of Black people and is maintained by our silence and participation in upholding white supremacy. Anti-Blackness is deeply woven in non-Black AAPI communities. But together, we can confront racism and anti-Blackness within ourselves and our communities, own up to harm inflicted, and take meaningful action to support Black-led movements for justice on the ground.

For George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery. For Jason Washington, Quanice Hayes, Aaron Campbell, Keaton Otis, Kendra James, who still do not have justice and whose names, many even in our own community do not know. The names of hundreds we did not list and so many more whose names we will never know.

These deaths are but the most recent in the centuries of oppression and violence perpetrated through state-sanctioned white supremacy. We cannot let this continue. We must rise up with local Black leaders at PAALF, Unite Oregon and many others to demand a divestment from local police and an investment in Black communities. To lift up the words of Joy Alise Davis, Executive Director of PAALF, "Today, we have the opportunity to take these wishes out of the dreamscape and into our collective reality."

We all must actively work to dismantle the systems that are harming Black communities. Taking action is what matters most.

Today, you can commit to:

As an organization, APANO commits to:

  1. Advocate - We advocate for policies to end state violence against Black communities. Joining Unite Oregon and PAALF, we call for the City Council to defund the police by ending special units, like the end of Gun Violence Reduction Team, Transit Police, and SERTs, that target Black and brown communities, and support police accountability measures at every level of government, with a vision for true community safety.

  2. Support Financially - We use our financial and other material resources to support Black communities in Portland, starting with providing financial relief for Black communities immediately during the COVID-19 pandemic, safety equipment to our community fighting on the frontlines, and diverting funding to Black communities

  1. Learn and Educate - We address anti-Blackness within our own organization and communities. We have formed an internal staff task force to drive our work and share culturally responsive anti-racist resources with our community and members to better help facilitate the dismantlement of white supremacy.

We know the work ahead is long and tough, and it’s about showing up now and for the long haul. We are committed to learning, listening, and taking action.

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