How can we keep our Black and Brown siblings safe? How can we care for each other during and beyond the pandemic? COVID-19 has sharpened and expanded the impact of the historical and systematic processes targeting our communities. From unlearning to practicing, on ourselves and with each other, we can deeply and creatively create tools to heal and repair, to build resilience, and to foster anti-racism. Below is a list of BIPOC makers, radical thinkers, and doers who can guide and ground us, featuring recommendations by Cultural Work Intern Lillyanne Pham at [email protected] and APANO’s Arts & Media Project (AMP) members. 

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Watch

A Eulogy for Black America – Hosted by Portland NAACP. A recorded Facebook Live and in-person event on May 29, 2020 featuring Rev. E.D. Mondainé: President NAACP, Commissioner Joann Hardesty: Portland City Commissioner, David Alexander: POIC, Nkenge Harmon Johnson Hartman: Urban League of Portland, Marcus Mundy: CCC,  Poet Emmett Wheatfall, Ramon Ramirez: PCUN. “Our hope is to lift up the heinous and brutal murders by the hands of law enforcement that are sworn to protect and to serve. It is a sinister notion that one must weary of governmental agencies constructed to preserve the lives of its citizens, kill them without fear of consequence.”

Celebrating Juneteenth! An Abolitionist Perspective on Movements for Black Liberation Past and Present – Hosted by Critical Resistance (CR) featuring a conversation between “Black thought leaders and firebrands”, Charlene Carruthers (BYP100 cofounder) and Marc Lamont Hill (BET news host) on Sat, June 13, 2020 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM PDT. On the event page, find tickets on a sliding scale $0 – $20 and various sponsorship opportunities. This virtual fundraiser and event aims “to explore the legacy of Juneteenth and ongoing struggles for Black (and international) liberation.” Recommended by Roshani Thakore.

Friday Night Forums: Abolition & COVID-19 – Hosted by the Red Nation in partnership with the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) and the Center for Political Education on May 29, 2020 5:00 PM PDT. This webinar will address settler colonialism, US imperialism, and decolonization by centering the prison abolition efforts and frameworks of four critical thinkers and activists: Nicolás Cruz (the Red Nation), Mohamed Shehk (Critical Resistance), Emmy Rakete (People Against Prisons Aotearoa), and Ruth Wilson Gilmore (CUNY Graduate Center).

10 Year Keaton Otis Memorial Live Stream – Hosted by Justice For Keaton Otis. A recorded Facebook and Youtube Live event on May 12, 2020 to remember and honor Keation Otis who was killed by the Portland police on May 12, 2010. “Every month since his murder a vigil has been held at the spot he died. Started by his father Fred Bryant in his mission to get justice for his son, the community continues to this day the vigils after Fred passed away in 2013.” 

Sisters and Siblings in the Struggle: COVID-19 + Black + Asian-American Feminists Solidarities – Hosted by Black Women Radicals and the Asian-American Feminist Collective (AAFC). A recorded Instagram Live event on April 30, 2020, addressing the following questions: “How can Asian-American feminists and Black feminists engage in a critical dialogue on the impacts of COVID-19 in their respective communities? What can we learn from the long history of solidarity between Black and Asian-American feminists? More importantly, how can we continue to create transnational Black and Asian feminist solidarities in the United States and beyond?” A reading list accumulated from the event is included. 

Practice

TELL MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL TO DEFUND THE POLICE – In the wake of George Floyd’s murder by MPD officer Derek Chauvin, and the Minneapolis Police Department’s escalated violence against the city’s grieving Black community, Minneapolis is in desperate need of visionary leadership. Black Visions and Reclaim the Block have called on the Minneapolis City Council to become these visionary leaders by pledging to defund the Minneapolis Police Department and invest in community-led health and safety strategies. They have been asked to commit to the following by 8AM on Saturday, May 30th: 

1. To never again vote to increase police funding or to increase the police department’s budget.

2. To propose and vote for a $45 million cut from MPD’s budget as the City responds to projected COVID-19 shortfalls.

3. To protect and expand current investment in community-led health and safety strategies, instead of investing in police.

4. To do everything in my power to compel MPD and all law enforcement agencies to immediately cease enacting violence on community members.

“Our city is on fire, our people are hurting, and Black communities are crying out for health and safety in the midst of pandemic. Now is the time to invest in a safe, liberated future for our city. We can’t afford to keep funding MPD’s attacks on Black lives.”

Resilience Series: Conversations during Covid19 (Health & Wellness Resilience) BIPOC ONLY on Zoom – Hosted by APANO and facilitated by Cultural Strategy Director Candace Kita on Wed, June 3, 2020 6:00 PM PDT. “What is Health & Wellness Resilience, and why does it matter? How do we stay well physically, psychologically, and spiritually? How do you navigate health and wellness systems? What resources do you use to improve and sustain your health? Join APANO community members, in a BIPOC only space, for the third session of our Resilience Series. This conversation will focus on Health & Wellness Resilience 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.

Volunteer to Meal Prep and Feed the Portland Community – Organized by Feed the Mass, a nonprofit cooking education organization. “We are partnering with Ecotrust and The Redd to make meals twice a week to help families and individuals in need. We will be also cutting into the waste of food in Portland by partnering with local vendors and farms to make sure the food they sell and grow don’t go into landfills. All of the food we make will be clean, safe, and restaurant quality. More info can be found here

Help Portland Medics Make & Give Out Hand Sanitizer – Organized by Rosehip Medic Collective and Portland Action Medics. A GoFundMe to support medics making hand sanitizer for those who need it the most –“people who live or work without frequent access to running water and without the financial or logistical means to purchase it.” They have raised over $16k and have distributed over 16k individual bottles of hand sanitizer. They are still raising money to continue production until early June. 

Community Supported Agriculture – Organized by Equitable Giving Circle who “aim to empower BIPOC communities in Portland by centering economic equity within communities of privilege through economic deposits.” Their Community Supported Agriculture project offers an opportunity to donate food to Portland families that are experiencing food insecurity and to support local food providers.

Delve Online: Contemporary Korean Fiction – Hosted by writer, storyteller, and improv comedian Hannah Kim and Literary Arts from August 20 – September 10, 2020 on Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 PM PDT, with tickets at $150. This POC-only Zoom seminar will explore three contemporary Korean writers: Han Kang, Han Yujoo, and Hwang Sok-Yong. The discussion of these writers will focus on the effects of translation, elements of Korean culture, and current affairs that are uniquely reflected in these works. Recommended by Roshani Thakore.

Training: Resilience in the Face of COVID-19 –  Hosted by Asian American Arts Alliance on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 2 – 3PM EST. This webinar is an “interactive and experiential learning experience that will teach you how to author your own resilience during COVID19, using Hollaback!’s resilience methodology: sit with what is, create your story, and be in choice..” Recommended by Roshani Thakore.

Listen

Healing The Land IS Healing Ourselves – Hosted by the All My Relations Podcast, Matika Wilbur & Adrienne Keene, featuring Kim Smith. This episode overviews the life and work of Kim from her “1200+ mile journey with Nihígaal Bee Lina” to her “long-term citizen science project.” In this, her story shows her efforts to understand “how violence on the land is violence on our bodies, and that the inverse can also be true—healing the land is healing ourselves.” Recommended by Roshani Thakore.

Read

WE CAN’T BREATHE – AN OPEN LETTER TO COMMUNITY – Written by Marcus C. Mundy, Executive Director, Coalition of Communities of Color and addressed to the Portland community. This letter is a deep reflection of the deaths of Black men due to the state-sanctioned violence in the U.S. and call-to-action against anti-Blackness. Mundy states, “After witnessing the replay of the slow motion demise of George Floyd, many of us feel horror; but that horror no longer means anything without action.  Our bromides and platitudes and good intentions and righteous indignation, however heartfelt, are as a flatus in the wind unless we are prepared to work for change, and respectfully demand that change.”

20+ Allyship Actions for Asians to Show Up for the Black Community Right Now – Written by Co-Founder & CEO @ Awaken, Michelle Kim. This work presents a call-to-action along with resources for Asian/Americans to combat anti-Blackness and police violence within themselves and their communities. Kim states, “There are deep historical wounds we need to heal that exist between Asians and Black people, and there are fresh wounds being created everyday as we perpetuate anti-Blackness inside our communities. The oppression against Black people is perpetuated not only by White people, but us Asians, too: in Chinatowns all over the U.S., in Asian countries, in our workplaces, online on social media, in our daily lives.”

Amy Cooper Knew Exactly What She Was Doing Reported by Senior Culture Writer of the HuffPost, Zeba Blay. This article highlights the anti-Black violence at the hands of Amy Cooper who called the cops on Christian Cooper, a Black birdwatcher, in NYC. Blay states, “What the Amy Cooper situation reveals to me is what instances of racism in America always reveal: There’s a level of self-examination and self-awareness that white people are not doing that they must do.”

Resources & Initiatives

If you have BIPOC art and culture to add to this list or additional resources, please contact Cultural Work Coordinator Roshani Thakore at [email protected] or Cultural Work Intern Lillyanne Pham at [email protected]

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