Anti-Asian hate crimes have surged across the US and the stress of the pandemic continues to strain our lives. How do we show up for ourselves? How do we show up for our Asian friends, family and community? How do we show up in solidarity with Black and Indigenous led organizations who have been facing police violence and hate crimes alongside us? Below is a list of BIPOC makers, radical thinkers, and doers who can guide and ground us, featuring recommendations by Cultural Work Volunteer Alisa Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org and APANO’s Arts & Media Project (AMP) members.
DisOrient Asian American Film Festival – DisOrient is the premiere Asian American independent film festival of Oregon, celebrating films with authentic Asian Pacific American voices, histories and stories. DisOrient highlights social justice themes that translate to universal human experiences and promotes representation, diversity and inclusion to broaden the narrative of who is American, and to strengthen and build community. The 16th annual festival “Raising Our Voices” will be held from March 19th-28th; see the program here!
- Minari – A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home. The winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the 2020 Sundance Film Festival is finally available to buy at YouTube, Google Play, and more.
- Tiger Tail – A man reflects on the lost love of his youth and his long-ago journey from Tawian to America as he begins to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Starring Alan Yang Tzi Ma, Christine Ko, and Hong-Chi Lee, Tiger Tail tells the heartbreaking story many immigrants know too well. Available on Netflix!
- United Against Hate: Asian American Legislators, Activists Discuss the Rise in Anti Asian Racism – Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), John Yang of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC and Manju Kulkarni of A3PCON share their thoughts on the ramifications of anti-Asian racism with NBC correspondent Vicky Nguyen.
Stop AAPI Hate – In response to the alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center on March 19, 2020. The center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
- Support PDX Restaurants That Have Faced Vandalism – At the end of January, 13 businesses in East Portland and the Jade District were vandalized. While the direct motive behind the incidents are unclear, nearly all targeted are Asian-owned businesses. These attacks also come as we hear increased reports of anti-Asian violence locally and nationally.
Queer Nature on Reclaiming Wild Safe Space – How can a queerness guide us as we move through this liminal time period? How can queer ecology radically change our way of knowing? This week’s episode, initially aired in December of 2018, acknowledges that in order to expand ourselves to our fullest capacity, we must bend beyond the cultural and gender binaries that dominant society projects amongst us, to begin this process we need not look further than what has always been. Guided by culturally informed queer ancestral futurist dreams, Pinar and So Sinopoulos-Lloyd of Queer Nature explore how queering our awareness can dismantle the supremacist, ecocidal, and genocidal story we have found ourselves in.
- Feeling Asian With Youngmi Mayer and Brian Park – Hope you Get Rich! Is a recent podcast episode where Youngmi recounts a frustrating experience of when she had to suppress her emotions in the face of racism. Brian talks about the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes. We also discuss Chinese zodiac signs and Lunar New Year traditions. If you or someone you know experiences an anti-Asian attack, report it at stopaapihate.org.
Asians Must Stop Comparing Our Issues to Black Lives Matter – What does solidarity mean in practice to you? In this essay Elliot Sang details how comparing the racism Black and Asian people experience only further perpetuates white supremacy. Sang writes “If we as Asians, in witnessing constant protests responding to anti-Black oppression and tragedy, come away with the notion that Black people are overly favored, we should consider whether we are perpetuating the very oppression we’re supposed to be fighting.”
- On Anti-Asian Hate Crimes: Who Is Our Real Enemy? – Michelle Kim writes that “The only way out of the vicious cycle of violence we continue to find ourselves in is through deep, unrelenting, and principled inter-community solidarity. As Asians, we must interrogate the conditions and narratives we find ourselves in and remember in our core that white supremacy is not our savior. We have an opportunity to reclaim our narratives — and our identity — by being loud, angry, political, defiant, and in lock-step with the Black community to keep our communities safe while denouncing systems that have never protected us.” Also available in Japanese, Kim reminds us that intercommunity solidarity is crucial in fighting racism.