Day 384, April 5, 2021

Solidarity 

Tonight we had a wonderful event at UMass, Showing Up with Asian and Asian American Folks: A UMass Amherst Community Forum and Dialogue on Building Solidarity. There was a great collection of speakers and a wonderful student and staff panel. It is a little late and it is my turn to cook, so I'll just share my comments I wrote for the event:

As you have heard from a few of us today, the Asian diaspora is vast. We are adoptees, the descendants of immigrants, we are immigrants. Our parents and relatives work in nail salons, flower shops, dry cleaners, convenience stores, and some are musicians, doctors, architects, researchers, academics. Some of us speak with accents and some do not. We speak different languages, have different traditions. But, we are above all, human. 

In this very human moment, we are united with our BIPOC brothers and sisters in fear. How do we explain to our children that we live in a nation that has normalized and legitimized violence against people of color? How do we protect our elders as they go to church, go grocery shopping, or fishing? How do we know when we are safe? These are questions many of us have asked our entire lives.

We must remember that stereotypes and scapegoats are social constructions. Whether we are feared or reviled, objectified or delegitimized, the purpose is to deconstruct power, deconstruct agency. So, it is with resolve that I ask us all to recommit ourselves to building power and agency, among ourselves, and in others.

Everyone who has joined us here today, everyone who has participated in the recent rallies, and everyone who has already stepped forward, and steps forward from this moment to be brave, to help one another, to shield each other from aggressions small or large, each of us has reaffirmed our collective humanity. 

We are a pan-Asian community, we are a BIPOC community. We are all allies against racism, against White supremacy. We are for solidarity, for equity, for the right for all our identities to exist without fear. Together we will continue the build the world we wish to inhabit.

 

Take care, stay safe, and be well,

Leo

I have a shared photo file called, Koreans Are Taking Over the World
and whenever I see something like this in a non-Asian grocery store, I take a picture.

From Our Friends:

From the UMass MFA for Poets and Writers program:

Transforming Crisis Discussion  Wednesday, 4/7 at 7pm

The discussion on April 7th is an opportunity to reflect back on what our community has been learning through the series and to engage with a diverse group of panelists where we embark on a thoughtful conversation about the climate crisis, what it means to our communities, and how artists, scientists, and activists can work together to propel meaningful change.  The conversation will be guided by Madeleine Charney, the moderator.  Over the course of an hour and a half, the panelists will dig into important issues, share their experiences, and offer insight into the path forward.  

Panelists will include: Miwa (our featured artist), Malcolm Sen (sustainability scholar), Rob DeConto (climate scientist), Emmalie Dropkin (UMass MFA alum, fiction writer, teacher, and climate activist), and Lauren de la Parra (UMass Sustainability Science alum, writer, artist, and climate resilience planner).  

Free and open to the public.

Register here

From the Five College Center for East Asian Studies:

The Inaugural Kay Johnson Lecture in Asian American Studies at Hampshire College: "The Chinese Must Go: A History of Anti-Asian Violence in the United States"Beth Lew-Williams, Associate Professor of History, Princeton University, Apr. 7, 4:30 pm on Zoom.

The American West erupted in anti-Chinese violence in 1885. Following the massacre of Chinese miners in Wyoming Territory, more than 165 communities throughout California and the Pacific Northwest harassed, assaulted, and expelled thousands of Chinese migrants. Beth Lew-Williams will discuss this unprecedented outbreak, place it within the broader history of anti-Asian violence, and reflect on the implications for the present day. As we confront a new surge of anti-Asian hate crimes amid the pandemic, how should history help to inform our responses?

This lecture is generously funded by the Kay Johnson Memorial Fund, which was established to honor and celebrate our late colleague Kay Johnson, an eminent scholar and teacher of Chinese studies. For further information or questions, please contact Lili KimThis virtual lecture is free and open to all: Webinar link.



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