Hello everyone! I'm excited to announce that the ACLU's Arts Justice Council has released their fall and winter 2023 edition of The Road To Find, a journal which has seasonal releases around a theme of a social justice issue. This season, it's AAPI Heritage and History!
I had the pleasure of joining the AJC and working to compile this edition, as well as writing the foreword!! Of course, I had to share this resource and my little reflection on it with you all, so here's my introduction to the journal:
Looking back since the start of COVID, one can definitely say that the idea of “being Asian American” has changed, but in a complex way. While we can’t say whether the changes in perception of Asian identity have been for the better or for the worse, we can deduce some of the positive and negative impacts of these changes.
In the past two years, our community has experienced an increased amount of violence towards our elders, our family members, and ourselves, in the form of violent anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. As many of our community members lost their lives, or if not their lives, their ability to live life normally, we as AAPIs saw the disastrous consequences of misinformation, scapegoating, and the finally erupting racism that has deep roots in our country’s past.
It’s important to acknowledge that anti-Asian sentiment has existed long before the pandemic. It’s only because of COVID-19 that it has become more visible and easy to spot, but it’s always been there. That’s why in these past two years, it’s been more important than ever for Asian American Pacific Islanders to come together as a community, stand up for each other, protect one another, and call for our leaders to address and take action against anti-Asian hate. And although we are currently transitioning as a nation out of the pandemic, the fight is far from over.
It has taken the deaths of members of our community for many to realize that anti-Asian hate is an issue, and now that we have built up this momentum we must grab onto it and call attention to the more silent, invisible forms of anti-Asian hate. From racist gestures to cultural mockery, there are many forms of discrimination against AAPI communities that exist far beyond violent hate crimes, and have yet to be fully addressed.
But as we continue this fight, calling people to attention and encouraging them to educate themselves on these issues, it’s also important to care for ourselves, and celebrate the beauty of our Asian Pacific American identity.
Part of fighting for positive change is knowing how important what you’re fighting for is, and we can appreciate and understand what the world would be like if there was more awareness for API identity and culture when we practice and honor the traditions and stories of where we come from.
I’m excited to share this beautiful anthology of artworks, writing, and other art pieces that celebrate AAPI heritage and history, and offer it as a way to both educate oneself and celebrate the cultural diversity that encapsulates our community. The term “AAPI” includes over 50 different ethnic groups, and encapsulates some of the most unique cultural customs and longest histories. I’m excited that The Road To Find is offering this resource for more AAPI individuals to find strength in our identity, and continue celebrating our culture as we fight for positive change.
And if you'd like to check out the full journal with all of the artworks, writing pieces, and more, please click on this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o3tsJiBfH342ppkkDJjFBc8h0Ni9QVTs/view
Hope you all enjoy and happy reading :)