On March 16, 2021, a 21-year-old man went into several different spas in Atlanta and shot several people, killing eight and injuring a few. Six of the people who died were of Asian descent, and two were white. Seven were women. On Friday, the authorities publicly identified four of the victims who hadn’t been named before. They were identified as Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant,, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; and Yong Yue, 63. These attacks brought anti-Asian hate sentiment into a bright spotlight and forced people to realize the amount of hate that Asians have received since the beginning of the pandemic. News coverage about anti -Asian sentiment had been very limited until the pandemic, when people started to blame the COVID-19 situation on Asian people. No problem this large can be blamed on a single group of people. To everyone that has been affected by this attack, we are sorry for the emotional and physical harm this has caused you.
On March 28, 2021 we held an Asian American Pacific Islander rally. We hung up a sign on the SF Bay pedestrian footbridge and had speakers from all different organizations say a speech. There were over 1,200 people at the rally supporting the cause. We had Simon Alejandrino, a teacher at Redwood Day School, Berkeley Council Members Robinson and Kesarwani, Harita Kalvai, a Teen Board Member if the non-profit Beyond Differences, Zhi Isabel Adeline Howes also from Beyond Differences, Stanly Pun co-director of AYPAL, Elaine Dang, board member of Act to Change, Lateefah Simon, President of Akonadi Foundation, Annie Wang – Community Relations Director of #HATEISAVIRUS, Jane Bahk, whose children’s book Juna’s Jar received the Asian-Pacific American Librarians Award for Literature, and Ashlyn So, a middle schooler and a passionate activist from the South Bay. We then had student speakers and marched to the bridge where we had lots if support from passing cars.
AAPI Youth Rising’s ONE/180 Pledge
In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, AAPI Youth Rising is excited to launch our One/180 Pledge!
Students, parents, and allies, please consider signing the One/180 Pledge if you support having at least one lesson of AAPI History + Culture taught in your schools in this coming year.
Teachers, school administrators, and educators, please consider signing the One/180 Pledge if you pledge to teach at least one lesson of AAPI History + Culture in this next academic year.
We are gathering signatures throughout May, which is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Why One/180? Out of the standard 180 instructional days in the average student’s school year, we are asking that at least ONE of those days in the next academic year include at least ONE lesson that is dedicated to AAPI History + Culture.
Asian American History is American History. Yet only a few Asian American Pacific Islander stories are taught in K-12 U.S. schools. With the increasing awareness of the invisibility of Asian American histories, it’s more important now than ever to teach the rich culture and histories of AAPI so that we can all learn how AAPI have contributed to America’s diversity and successes. It is time to celebrate all American stories.
The One/180 Pledge serves as a symbolic action in support of the movement to re-imagine the way American history is taught. The pledge serves to inspire youth to ask for at least “one class.” Our pledge serves to inspire “one teacher” to take “one action” and teach at least “one class.” These “little” actions can one day mean a lot.
What does an “American” look like?
Illustrations by AAPI Youth Rising’s Mina Fedor
Hwarang means warrior in Korean. Gyopo means an ethnic Korean who is part of the diaspora.
Little Actions Make a Difference
Each day, we at AAPI Youth Rising are raising our voices and taking actions to create positive change in the world. Just some of the work we’ve done this month includes:
* Making impactful artwork to spread awareness of key issues in our community.
* Rallying our community members, schools, and teachers to pledge to teach diverse histories + stories.
* Registering people to vote.
* Speaking out about the issues affecting us as youth.
Consider taking these actions as well to make a difference!
#LiveTogether Challenge is launched by UNESCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.
The #LiveTogether challenge is a global campaign about raising solidarity and inclusion in the international community in the effort to fight racism and discrimination.
AAPI Youth Rising is joining the movement and nominating our partners to participate next!
Learn more about the Instagram initiative at @live_together_campaign
AAPI Youth Rising’s mission is all about raising our youth voices and taking “little” actions to make a difference.
Today, we celebrate Chizu Iiyama, a Nisei activist, social worker, and educator, who was born in San Francisco. She raised her voice as an activist during a time when it was harder to speak up. We at AAPI Youth Rising continue to be inspired by her legacy.
We hope you enjoy this drawing of Chizu Iiyama by Mila Cavagnaro, who also bravely raised her voice during the AAPI Youth Rising Rally in Berkeley, CA on March 28, 2021. The bio is written by Aashi Gupta. Thank you Mila and Aashi for sharing your beautiful creation with us and being a part of the AAPI Youth Rising team.
⚡ Educator Spotlights ⚡
Ms. Chris Chun
We can’t say it enough — teachers continue to inspire us. Through COVID and social movements, educators have worked tirelessly to help us become the positive changemakers we all are meant to be.
To celebrate all that you do, we’re highlighting some of the teachers near and dear to our hearts. First up – Ms. Chris Chun, Asian Student’s Union Advisor and leader of the ASU in culinary adventures throughout the East Bay at @blackpinecircle.
Dr. Russell Jeung
Professor, activist, and changemaker, Dr. Russell Jeung inspires us each day with his dedication to racial justice and inclusion. In addition to his role as Professor of Asian American Studies at @sanfranciscostate , Dr. Jeung also co-founded @stopaapihate in 2020 to track and respond to incidents of hate and violence against the AAPI community. Not to mention, he’s got a great sense of style (peep the sweet shirt by @madowfutur 👀).
Thank you to Dr. Russell Jeung for sending over these materials for this highlight and for doing all that you do.
Mr. Simon Alejandrino
Burning Cheetos for science? Mr. Alejandrino knows how to light up the classroom for 7th and 8th graders at @redwoodday. On top of being a stellar educator, Mr. Alejandrino also MC’d our rally in March!
Read more about this amazing teacher and how Mr. Alejandrino links science to the “real world”.
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