Lakshmi Sridaran

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Lakshmi Sridaran

A Townhall On Anti-Asian Racism

AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund March 25 at 9:13 AM ·

Tune into this webinar on Anti-Asian Racism, featuring AAPI FORCE-EF executive director Timmy Lu, along with other organizers and scholars!

Peoples Collective for Justice & Liberation Presents

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A Townhall On Anti-Asian Racism: Race, Struggle & Solidarity in The Time of A Global Pandemic

DATE: Saturday, March 28, 2020 TIME: 3:00-5PM PST / 6:00-8PM EST

We are living in unprecedented times with COVID--19 or the Coronavirus. There has been a rise in anti-Chinese and anti-Asian discrimination and many efforts to combat it during this public health crisis.

Asian American organizers, and other people of color we are in community with, will facilitate a conversation on race, struggle and solidarity in the time of a global pandemic.

Featured Speakers:

Co-Hosted by:

Gregory Cendana, Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop! Consulting and DJ Kuttin Kandi, Asian Solidarity Collective.

Cosponsored by Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop; Asian Solidarity Collective, University of Connecticut Asian And Asian American Studies Institute, 18 Million Rising, and Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO

NCAPA Conference

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) held a press conference on June 5th 2020 in the aftermath of George Floyd’s recent death. The conference featured a number of speakers: Congresswoman Judy Chu, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Bao Vang, Bo Thao-Urabe, Lakshmi Sridaran, and Tavae Samuelu. In each of their statements, these APIA leaders expressed solidarity with and support for the Black community.

Congresswoman Chu opened the conference by strongly condemning the murder. As the Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, she called for increased accountability of police actions and justice for Floyd’s death. She also referenced the history of Asians in America. From the passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, to today’s sharp increase in anti-Asian hate crimes related to COVID-19, Asian Americans are very familiar with discrimination. We may have different experiences than those of Black Americans, but we both have histories of oppression. Recently, Black Congressional caucuses joined APIA leaders to fight discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their support will be reciprocated because “our unity is our strength,” said Congresswoman Chu.

Another notable speaker was Bo Thao-Urabe, the Executive Director of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders. This is a social justice organization based in Minnesota, the state where Floyd died. A key part of Ms. Thao-Urabe’s statement was her discussion of Tou Thao, the Hmong American police officer who stood by during Floyd’s death. Thao was recently charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. In her statement, Ms. Thao-Urabe explained that Thao’s involvement in the crime symbolizes the consequences of white supremacy, which divides racial minorities and fuels tensions between Asian American and Black communities. We must reflect on Thao’s complicit behavior, and if we truly believe that Black lives matter, support their community. Intersectionality is inherent within the goals of Asian and Black Americans.

The final speaker was Tavae Samuelu, the Executive Director of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities. She described several examples of how Asian Americans are connected to this issue. On one hand, the owner of the store where Floyd reportedly paid with a counterfeit bill and a police officer involved in Floyd’s death are of Asian descent.[1]

Open Letter to the Biden Campaign on “Unprepared”

Open Letter to the Biden Campaign on “Unprepared” was released May 12 2020.

":Our demands: The country’s greatest priority at this moment is to beat the COVID-19 crisis, and this requires embracing principles of antiracist solidarity and international cooperation. The Biden campaign can and should beat Trump and the GOP with a message centered on our real public health needs and the progressive values that are required to meet those needs. The “Unprepared” ad must be taken down, and all campaign messaging that fuels anti-Asian racism and China-bashing must end. We refuse to allow the Biden campaign to sacrifice our dignity in the name of political expediency."

Signatories included Lakshmi Sridaran, Executive Director, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).

References