“The only way to survive is by taking care of one another."
--Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015)
Community activist and writer. Born in Rhode Island to Chinese immigrants. Worked for 70 years in U.S. social movements spanning civil rights, labor, feminism, Black Power, Asian Americans, and the environment.
Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) supports those in Virginia and elsewhere across the United States who are standing up to bigotry, racism, and the promotion of white supremacy. As we brace for the spread of more white nationalist rallies across the country next week in - Atlanta, Austin, Berkeley, Boston, Los Angeles, Mountain View, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Washington DC and elsewhere - we believe that individual acts of resistance, both large and small, can have a powerful collective voice advocating for greater tolerance and acceptance of the diversity that makes this country truly strong. Here are five things you can do right now:
1. Join or organize a solidarity vigil in your neighborhood. Indivisible has a searchable event directory here.
2. If you experience or witness a hate incident or hate crime, document it on Communities Against Hate or Stand Against Hatred.
3. Learn more about white supremacy and structural racism. Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit was created by AAPI groups that are working on the front lines of racial justice.
4. Learn how grantmakers can combat the effects of implicit bias on grantmaking and philanthropy, in john a. powell's article for NCRP "Implicit Bias in Grantmaking and Philanthropy."
5. Write a blog post or reflection piece to share on AAPIP's website. Contact Christen Lee, christen [at] aapip.org, for more information.
AAPIP is also a member of CHANGE Philanthropy, a coalition of philanthropic networks working to integrate diversity, inclusion, and social justice into philanthropic practice. We are pleased to share our joint statement below:
In Solidarity with Charlottesville, a Call to Reckon with White Supremacy
CHANGE Philanthropy stands in solidarity with everyone fighting white nationalism and white supremacy in Charlottesville and across our nation. We extend our deepest sympathies to those who lost loved ones to the domestic terrorism that took place in Virginia, or in the broader struggle against this hateful, racist and anti-Semitic ideology.The events of this weekend remind us that white supremacy is not simply a relic of a shameful past, or a dying movement on the fringes of American society. It is an organized, influential movement.
Even at a time when many yearn for a more “civil” political discourse, we must take direct action in defiance of white supremacy. Organized hate is not a many-sided issue. We join the growing chorus of philanthropic leaders calling upon their peers to publicly, explicitly and unequivocally condemn white supremacy.
White supremacy lives not only in this overt, vitriolic movement. It also takes shelter in the nooks and crannies of bureaucracies; in school suspension policies; in resistance to fair housing laws; in plausible deniability for police officers who kill people of color in cold blood; and in the thin veils of political debates about “fairness” and “opportunity.” Philanthropic leaders should lean into this moment and explicitly convey the myriad ways in which white supremacy -- and patriarchy, and heteronormativity -- contribute to continued, racialized inequality in America. Whether we fund education, healthcare, the arts, or any other issue, racism stands between all of us and the results we seek to achieve.
The sad reality is that, for many of our members, work will not be a place they feel safe even talking about Charlottesville. The lack of honest conversation and understanding about the effects of an oppressive history has led to this present moment. We call upon foundation leaders to reckon with vestiges of the white supremacy, privilege, and patriarchy that manifest within their institutions. While organized efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion are showing early signs of promise, the data shows us we still have a long way to go.
CHANGE Philanthropy stands ready to support foundations in calling out organized hate for exactly what it is, and in challenging institutionalized racism and the scourges of patriarchy and heteronormativity at its intersections, both in the world and in our own organizations. Let us work together to truly manifest our love of humankind and unite for equity.