When the weight of the world is heavy, it can feel hard to know where and how to place your feet to take a stand. This past year there has been a surge of racially fueled hate crimes and racially motivated harassment. The tragedy in Atlanta has brought about an awareness and understanding of the depth of anti-Asian incidents and attacks that have been occurring nationwide. How do we begin to take a stand as individuals, families and communities in solidarity, comfort and healing? What can we do to make change?
For each of us the answer might be different – protest, donate, learn, write, volunteer. There are so many ways to begin the work of change.
In an effort to provide support as we all try to find our footing in the work of building a more just, tolerant and safe world, we offer these resources. Some are the concrete supports we provide to parents and caregivers through our own trauma informed program. Others are resources that resonate with us as both parents and educators. This is not an exhaustive list, but a place to start if that’s what’s needed. All are for you to use and share.
For Educators & Parents
- The Stop AAPI Youth Hate Campaign conducted a study in 2020 that provides insight into what AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) youth are experiencing. It combines concrete data with recommendations for next steps.
- Guiding children in developing a positive racial identity and consciousness is key to helping all children begin to associate positive attributes to children of color. This excerpt from A Place to Begin with Parents on Issues of Diversity provides a starting point for knowledge building. This New York Times essay from a Korean American parent highlights her experience and the importance of Asian American children building a positive racial identity.
- One of the most necessary and oftentimes difficult things to do when kids witness bullying is to be an upstander. BullyBust.org offers these 10 tips for teaching kids to be upstanders. For young children, Sesame Street in Communities offers a variety of resources around racial justice, including this 15 minute video to watch together to learn what it looks like to be an upstander. In this song, Elmo is joined by 3 friends to sing about how to be an upstander to racism.
- For adults, it can be equally as difficult to take action when we are witness to incidents of racism or harassment. Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Hollaback! are hosting virtual workshops on zoom where you can learn how you can intervene effectively as a bystander without ever compromising your safety.
- Learning for Justice, an organization founded by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has spent the past 30 years working with communities, schools, educators and students to reduce prejudice and promote social justice. Learning for Justice offers free resources like lessons and classroom materials as well as easy to access webinars and podcasts on a variety of racial justice topics.
- EmbraceRace is full of resources to support parents as they help their young children learn about race, racism and racial justice. They offer accessible and age-appropriate tips that help parents teach and talk with their kids about race as well as have honest conversations about racial injustice. While EmbraceRace is geared towards parents, both parents and educators will find tremendous value in their “Drawing Across the Color Line” webinar and accompanying tips about encouraging diversity in children’s art. There’s even a kid friendly version in which the illustrators show their creative process and finished portraits.
- Music has the ability to celebrate cultures and inspire those who listen. The Silkroad Ensemble, founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, has a goal “to advance global understanding, deepen learning, and promote cross-cultural collaboration” through music. Through Silkroad’s website you can access their music, videos as well as accompanying teacher resources.
Direct crisis supports for those in need
To report an AAPI hate incident, visit https://stopaapihate.org/.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of a hate crime, VictimConnect.org can provide guidance and support. For telephone based support, call 1-855-4VICTIM (1-855-484-2846)
To find resources or programs by state to support women who are experiencing violence, visit WomensHealth.gov
The Asian Mental Health Collective whose mission is “to normalize and de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community” offers resources including this list of international and US based crisis hotlines.
About Standing (in Kinship) appears in the March 2021 issue of Poetry