At last week’s December Monthly Member meeting, we broached the important subject of “justice” and the way we have been taught to understand the issue. This important topic is all the more timely for APANO staff right now. As many of you have followed, a letter was received on November 5th by the APANO Boards from a collective of former APANO employees, one former Board member and volunteers demanding leadership change at APANO. For those who haven’t as closely, here is our attempt at recapping what’s happened so far (with links to direct text), which we shared at the December Meeting.
We asked our members “What have you been told what Justice looks like?,” and more importantly “What would you like Justice to look like (in your life, in your communities)?” Our aims were to begin understanding the difference between punitive, restorative and transformative justice; and envision together what the practice of transformative justice could look like in our lives, communities, and organizations.
APANO as an organization is learning alongside our community — and together we brainstormed, discussed, and put mind to paper and collaged our vision for Transformative Justice (Scroll to the bottom to see others’ visions):
We’ve heard feedback from our members and those committed to the values of APANO’s mission. We recognize the desire for further conversation specific to the Nov. 5 letter and what steps APANO is taking to address it. Third-party Community Liaison Elisa Dozono is working to conduct a thorough examination, and hear and investigate any and all concerns brought forward. Her independent report will be brought to the APANO Boards and made public so we are better able to engage in a conversation about any of the changes that may be necessary to address concerns in our community. For more information on the Community Liaison process, click here.
While the APANO Board members will receive Elisa’s report, they also want to hear your input on what they should consider as next steps for the organization when they receive Elisa’s findings:
- On January 17 from 6-8PM (location: Mekong Bistro, 8200 NE Siskiyou St), the APANO Board is planning an opportunity where we invite community members to discuss and provide feedback on what you want the Board to keep in mind or consider as we move to next steps. This session is for APANO members (defined as any Asian or Pacific Islander living in Oregon who has been involved in our programming over the past year or supported APANO with a minimum of $10). RSVP Here
- After the release of the report, the Boards and Elisa plan on holding a second meeting in mid-late February to share their findings and any immediate actions, as well as to invite further feedback and recommendations. Details are being determined, but we will keep you informed on date and location.
Thank you for being part of our conversations about the future of our organization — we know it is just the beginning of a longer process of learning and action.
As always, you are welcome to contact staff or the Board chairs at apano.board.chairs[at]gmail.com. If you do have feedback and concerns with specific people or practices you’ve experienced at APANO, please share those with Elisa Dozono at elisa.dozono[at]millernash.com, who is working as a community liaison for the Board to gather further information.