May 7, 2020

May 2020 Cultural Work Roundup

/// MAY 2020 ///

What are the possibilities of collectivity while many of us and our communities are facing unemployment, housing insecurity, mental health issues, racial violence, and/or more? How are we looking after ourselves and each other when we are physically apart? BIPOC makers, radical thinkers, and doers are using art and culture to dismantle and weaken the systems of oppression against those who are most impacted by the pandemic. Below is a list of some of their work to inspire us to mobilize and expand our imagination, featuring recommendations by Cultural Work Intern Lillyanne Pham at APANO's Arts & Media Project (AMP) members.


  • Movement Building in the Time of the Coronavirus: A Rising Majority Teach-In – Hosted by The Rising Majority with Angela Davis & Naomi Klein + Rising Majority leaders Thenjiwe McHarris (Blackbird), Cindy Wiesner (Grassroots Global Justice), Maurice Mitchell (Working Families Party), and Loan Tran (Southern Vision Alliance). Transcript. Spanish Translation. A recorded webinar of “a Left feminist perspective on 21st century racial capitalism in this moment” on April 2. Visual Notes. Recommended by Roshani Thakore
  • Organizing Against Toxic Imprisonment in the Face of COVID-19 – Hosted by Critical Resistance, moderated by Lara Kiswani (Arab Resource and Organizing Center), featuring Anna So and Rory Elliot, Critical Resistance Portland chapter, Care Not Cops PDX + Eunisses Hernandez, JusticeLA Coalition + Andrea James, National Council For Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls + More. A recorded webinar from March 30 along with a list of resources to learn about and support “grassroots campaigns fighting to get people free from cages during the health crisis.”


  • Social Justice Resources for COVID-19 Response – Compiled and hosted by irresistible (fka Healing Justice Podcast), from learning about #ShareMyCheck campaigns to finding comfort in Care Circle (a weekly support space with over 1,000 social justice leaders), their five COVID-19 response episodes provide timely perspectives from the frontlines along with transcripts and links to resources associated with each episode. Recommended by Marilou Carrera

  • How to Learn From a Plague – Hosted by Still Processing (Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, two culture writers for The New York Times), this episode revisits the 1980s and 1990s organizing of ACT UP during the the AIDS epidemic to draw parallels with the possibilities for activists during COVID-19. “Where are the tests!” Recommended by Roshani Thakore

  • Why The Coronavirus Is Hitting Black Communities Hardest – Hosted by NPR Code Switch (Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji) featuring reporter Akilah Johnson of Slate, this episode addresses the systematic and historical anti-Black racism during COVID-19. In this, they confront how and why Black Americans disproportionately account for the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.
  • Self-Care in the Time of Climate Crisis – Hosted by Brown Girl Green x Brittney Enin (Founder and Executive Self-Care Consultant & Radiator of Black Sunshine), this episode talks about BIPOC self-care as a strategic tool to survive the lack of mental health awareness which is part and parcel of the climate crisis. “Self-care is a form of deep activism, as we are radically defining what it means to adapt and care for ourselves and others in challenging environmental conditions.”


  • Resilience Series: Conversations during Covid19 BIPOC ONLY on Zoom – Hosted by APANO on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 6:00 PM PST. “What is Community Resilience, and why does it matter? What is Mutual Aid? How do you stay connected while physically distancing? What resources do you need and what can you share? Join APANO community members, in a BIPOC only space, for the first session of our Resilience Series. This conversation will explore Community Resilience and Mutual Aid utilizing examples from BIPOC communities. Participate in conversation, share resources, and co-create a workbook full of relevant and useful information.” Recommended by Misha Belden
  • Share your #FreeThemAllOR selfies – Organized by Care Not Cops PDX. This selfie storm is a call-to-action to keep up the pressure on Oregon officials to #DecarcerateNOW. Use #’s (#FreeThemAllOR, #AbolitionNow, #MassRelease, #MassReleaseReese) + @ these accounts: @MultCoSO, @OregonGovBrown + tag, @carenotcopspdx.
  • The Corner of Heart-to-Hearts – An interactive zine by Chad Shomura and Yumi Sakugawa featured on Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s Care Package. This interactive experiment involves you and one other person, online or offline, with a plant, a candle, and other magical artifacts for however long it takes. “Drawing upon feminist and queer scholarship on public feelings, stranger intimacy and queer utopias, the Corner blurs divides between typically parsed categories--public and private, strangers and intimates, individuals and communities--in order to build connections that are at once ephemeral and meaningful, and in which glimmers of utopian futures may be discerned.”
  • Make a Butterfly to Free Migrant Kids from Detention – Organized by The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful. This call-to-action for the release of children and their families from detention consists of 1) making a butterfly, 2) taking a photo of the butterfly (especially with a child’s hand holding it), and 3) tweeting the photo with @’s (@ICEgov @WhiteHouse @CBP @ACFHHS via @MomsRising @EffectMigration) and #’s (#safeandtogether #familiesbelongtogether #butterflyeffectmigration #COVID19).



If you have BIPOC art and culture to add to this list or additional resources, please contact Cultural Work Coordinator Roshani Thakore at or Culture Work Intern Lillyanne Pham at Take care!

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