As[I]Am is excited to be hosting a teleconference by and for Asian Americans on addressing anti-blackness in our own communities. Using a feminist lens, we are looking to examine our own and our communities’ participation in anti-black racism, and to move towards personal, local transformation in order to be better in solidarity with black people. Check out our mission statement. If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form.
For questions, please contact:
Jordan Alam (jordanalam [at] gmail [dot] com)
Arita Balaram (arita [dot] balaram [at] gmail [dot] com)
Tabina Bajwa (tabinabajwa [at] gmail [dot] com)
This teleconference will be happening on March 15th at 2-4pm EST via Google Hangout. We will update this page with instructions for how to tune in. For a tutorial on how to access Google Hangout, click here.
This teleconference is geared towards Asian-identified people to learn from one another how to practice respectful solidarity within the Black Lives Matter movement. Though the conference is focused on those who don’t directly experience American anti-Blackness, we also invite individuals who identify as Black–particularly Black Asians–to attend. We do not expect these voices to teach us; we want you to participate in whatever way feels right (just listening, sharing stories, etc). We see our struggles as bound up in those of Black people, and we are all accountable to the task of dismantling anti-Blackness.
On this call, we seek to:
- Make connections (between ideas and between people)
- Share ideas and resources for meaningful action
Feminism, for our purposes, is used to organize our conversation around personal, local transformation. Our belief is that change comes from within and that we want to work within our particular contexts (our friends, our families, our communities, ourselves) before and as part of larger global change.
Asian American is a broad term that we use to refer to a political category in relation to black people living in the United States, and to white supremacy experienced here. Asian American includes over 40 ethnicities and diasporic peoples, and a wide range of histories and intersecting identities; we do not ask that our participants identify as Asian Americans, but that they understand this term as having a particular relationship to racism in the US that is qualitatively different than that of other racial and ethnic groups, and that can internalize white supremacist ideas in specific ways.
We acknowledge that our terms are complex and intersecting, and can provoke very different reactions. Though we use them as organizing tools, we welcome your push back/challenges/feedback on any of the terms used in this mission. Our aim is to use working definitions as jumping off points for meaningful action, while still knowing that they change all the time.
Meaningful actions are, for us, the variety of ways we can participate in resisting anti-black racism in our local communities, families, friend groups, and within ourselves. These actions are ways we show solidarity while not 1) overshadowing black voices/experiences and 2) using peoples’ individual skills and privileges to the advantage of our cause.
We acknowledge that everyone is coming from different levels of experience with these concepts and this movement, so we hope to “meet people where they’re at” in this call and in our work at large.
What this space IS:
– An intentional space where we will use anti-oppressive language and concepts to organize our work
– A place of discussion and learning, where everyone will provide skills and resources as a community
– A place to make connections between ideas and people
– A place to see and confront racism, internalized and within your communities, and take away tools presented by participants
– A place of solidarity and meaningful action
What this space IS NOT:
– A place to use oppressive language in any form, relating to racism or other concepts
– A place to stay in theoretical ideas without relation to practical ideas
– A place to share overly personal experiences of racism, unless directly pertinent to anti-blackness
– A place to apologize for or feel incapacitated by guilt around internalized racism
– A place to derail or critique people or movement strategies unless offering helpful feedback