This toolkit represents the work and thinking of 15 grassroots organizations with Asian American bases living in the most precarious margins of power: low-income tenants, youth, undocumented immigrants, low-wage workers, refugees, women and girls, and queer and trans people. It reflects their experiences with criminalization, deportation, homophobia, xenophobia and Islamo-racism, war, gender violence, poverty, and worker exploitation. All of the modules are designed to begin with people’s lived experiences, and to build structural awareness of why those experiences are happening, and how they are tied to the oppression of others. By highlighting the role of people’s resistance both past and present, the toolkit also seeks to build hope and a commitment to political struggle. In these perilous times, it is an intervention by today’s Asian American activists to restore our collective humanity across our differences through a practice of deep democracy, by looking first to history and then to one another to build a vigilant and expansive love for the people.
This toolkit reflects our analysis of the interconnectedness of issues and constituencies within the structures of white supremacy. In addition to workshop modules, we offer some of our experiences and lessons learned in working to dismantle structural racism. We know that this is long-term work and requires transformational organizing to make racial justice a reality. As organizers, we start with how our members experience racism in their daily lives, and have seen firsthand the power of building intellectual connections between mass incarceration and deportation, between human trafficking and labor exploitation, and between gentrification and the criminalization of youth. Demographic change and an economy that has failed the 99% continue to drive white racial anxiety, bigotry and xenophobia. In response, we continue to anchor our politics in the material conditions of our lives, consolidating our bases and building shared commitments toward a movement for broad-scale liberation.
PART 1: RACIAL JUSTICE TRAININGS
This section includes 15 modules spanning Asian American Identity, Model Minority Myth, Gender & Patriarchy, White Supremacy, Race & Working Class + Immigrant Struggles, For Black Lives, Colonialism, & Islamo-Racism.
PART II: OUR ORGANIZATIONS IN RACIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT MOMENTS
Each organization chose to share a piece of curriculum that was important for their organization in racial justice movement moments.
PART III: RESOURCES
Including Affirmative Action & Prison Industrial Complex Fact Sheets, Hetereopatriarchy Discussion Guide, Muslim & Islam FAQ, as well as the SEA Community Letter on Black Solidarity and A4BL Principles & Protocols
Now a project of Grassroots Asians Rising, the Toolkit began as a project hosted by Asian American Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment (AAPI FORCE-EF), which is a California statewide formation whose purpose is to advance state politics, campaigns and other issues that support low-income AAPIs by building statewide AAPI civic engagement infrastructure and serving as a resource for emerging AAPI organizations. The founding organizations are APEN, CPA, KRC, and FAJ.
The Toolkit project includes the following organizations:
Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
Chinese Progressive Association - San Francisco (CPA)
Korean Resource Center (KRC)
Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ)
CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities
Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)
Khmer Girls in Action (KGA)
AYPAL: Building API Community Power
VAYLA New Orleans
Korean American Resource and Culture Center
We thank Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Rosenberg Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy for their generous support of this project. Special thanks to the Friends Doing Good giving circle and National CAPACD.