Standing in Solidarity with our AAPI community and BIPOC community + Some Powerful Resources to Navigate these Challenging Times

Welcome to Soul Food Friday

This week: Keeping It Real

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

Standing in Solidarity with our AAPI community and BIPOC community + Some Powerful Resources to Navigate these Challenging Times Courtesy of Dr. Randy W and Teach For America:

Showing up in new ways and moving forward to meet the moment

Thanks Dr. Ward and team for your thoughtful and proactive responses to these challenging circumstances. I thought it would be useful for our entire community to have access to these useful resources so here goes!

In March, eight people were murdered in the Atlanta area in violent attacks targeting the Asian community.

Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Sun Cha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng were killed in a senseless, racist, and misogynist attack that unfortunately was not an isolated incident. Violence targeting the AAPI community has dramatically increased recently. We’ve witnessed this in the Bay Area, LA, NYC and communities across the country.

Asian Americans reported nearly 3,800 incidents of hate (including verbal attacks, physical assault, civil rights violations, and online harassment) in the last twelve months alone. Anti-Asian racism and violence are not new. Our country has a long history of targeting the AAPI community, and that racism has only been exacerbated by xenophobic rhetoric throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I ache with our staff, students, and the broader AAPI community. When I think of colleagues and their families living with this kind of fear and uncertainty while also carrying concern for the safety of parents, elders, and children heading back to school, I am both heartbroken and angry. 

To our AAPI community at TFA, I continue to see you and stand in solidarity with you.

You matter not only to me, but to our full staff community and to our vision of equity.

I know that your feelings of isolation and invisibility did not begin with this recent series of violent acts.

As Soukprida wrote in a piece we published a few weeks ago, before the Atlanta murders, “It is critical we understand this history of anti-Asian racism existed long before the violent attacks” of recent months. 

That history of anti-Asian discrimination and erasure, as well as discrimination against other communities of color, demands that we show up in new ways, in this moment and moving forward. These tragic moments weigh so heavily on our community as we work toward building a more just, more fair, and more equitable future.

We must reflect the equity and solidarity that we hope to foster within our students. Showing up for the AAPI community begins with acknowledgement and partnership – this week and every week.

Please prioritize caring for yourself, your loved ones, and your community in this moment, knowing that our organization will stand alongside you every step of the way. 

Resources:

Teaching on Days After: Facebook Resource Group for educators

Responding to Anti-Asian Violence and Georgia Shootings from Teaching for Justice

Bystander Intervention Training

On Anti-Asian Hate Crimes: Who is Our Real Enemy? By Michelle Kim

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”—
Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Standing in Solidarity with Daunte Wright:

And then this past Sunday, Daunte Wright was killed in Brooklyn Center, MN after an encounter with police, sparking protests into the evening.  

Do you stand in solidarity with those demanding justice for Daunte Wright?

We are heartbroken thinking about his family and loved ones.

Daunte Wright should be alive today.

As many of you may be aware, SDUSD announced that classes for multiple schools would take place online on Tuesday of this week because of a police standoff at San Diego High School that ended in a killing of a person under police pursuit. We have already reached out to our corps member who teaches at SDHS to offer support, and we want to share our support with you as well as you process this both personally and with your students. If you’re seeking space to process, resources to use when speaking with students, or want to practice having a conversation prior to bringing this up in your classroom, please reach out to our staff.

The cumulative impact of this ongoing racial trauma and police violence in our community cannot be underestimated. These tragic incidents, and the continuous violence against communities of color, only exacerbate the sense of fear and pain that many members of our community already feel. The fact that the Daunte Wright tragedy occurred under the shadow of the Derek Chauvin trial is not lost on us.

To our grieving community, team, corps members, and alumni: we stand ready to support you and have linked some resources below. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to contact our team if there’s anything we can do.

In Solidarity,

The TFA San Diego Team

Resources for All of Us:

How to Talk to Students about Daunte Wright slide deck created by Racial Justice Organizing Committee http://bit.ly/MNunrest 

Classroom Resources from Saturday Summit creating space in your classroom to address structural violence and racism in your classroom Slides 15-18 for resources

“Don’t Say Nothing: Responding to Police Violence” https://www.learningforjustice.org/the-moment/april-12-2021-dont-say-nothing-responding-to-police-violence from Learning for Justice

Resmaa Menakem (trauma and healing therapist) Interview https://www.tptoriginals.org/trial-tribulation-can-black-minnesotans-find-healing-a-year-after-george-floyd-was-killed/

Angela Davis NPR News conversation with school counselors on how to support students through a trial and COVID-19 https://www.mprnews.org/episode/2021/03/25/school-counselors-on-how-to-support-students-through-a-trial-and-covid19

Dr. Yohuru Williams, racial justice scholar at the University of St Thomas in Minneapolis, discusses the Derek Chauvin Trial https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/breaking-the-news/as-chauvin-trial-moves-forward-racial-justice-scholar-says-community-response-will-reveal-true-verdict/89-7f69beed-f776-45c9-b08c-f26447498801In Focus: A Trial and Minnesota’s Search for Equity and Healing https://www.mprnews.org/episode/2021/03/31/in-focus-a-trial-and-minnesotas-search-for-equity-and-healing

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.

The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.

And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

–Elie Wiesel

And sadly this racial reckoning is not just happening in our country…

Her Babies Taken, She Died Alone in a Police Cell, the Victim of a Problem Australia Can’t Seem to Fix:
Thirty years ago, the Royal Commission found Indigenous people weren’t dying at a higher rate than non-Indigenous people, but those who died in custody were the victims of gross over-representation in the justice system. That’s still the case today…

Australia Indigenous deaths in custody: She died alone in a police cell, the victim of a problem Australia has had 30 years to fix – CNN

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?

And if I am only for myself, then what am I?

And if not now, when?”

—Rabbi Hillel

The 5 D’s of Bystander Intervention:
No Bystanding It’s Time for Upstanding!
An easy way to be an ally…
5 D’s of BI (slu.edu)

“You rise by lifting others.”

–Robert Green Ingersoll

On a Brighter Note…

A Dog Who Kept Sneaking into a Dollar General for a Unicorn Toy Gets His Plush and a New Start:

The animal control officer who moved Sisu from the Dollar General store to the shelter bought the stray dog his unicorn toy before bringing the canine in.

Stray Dog Tries to Steal Unicorn Toy from Dollar General Store | PEOPLE.com

Thanks this week go to our friends and colleagues at Teach for America and all allies and equity designers everywhere!
We can and will do better.

Please pay it forward. The world needs you now more than ever…

Love,

Neville

“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” – Rumi

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NevilleB108
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nbillimoria

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