We are living in a time of deep division and manifold crises – a crisis of democracy, a climate crisis, an economic crisis, a crisis of state and political violence, and a COVID crisis that has stolen over 220,000 souls in the United States and over 1 million worldwide. We are also living in a time of mass uprising to demand an end to racism and to realize America’s aspiration of inclusive, multiracial democracy. Tens of millions of people in the United States have participated in peaceful protests against the widespread abuse of power on the part of police in … Read more “From Asian America, with love”
Author: Soya Jung
Soya has been active in the progressive movement for over 30 years. During the 1990s she worked as a reporter at the International Examiner, communications and policy staff for the WA State House Democratic Caucus, and executive director of the Washington Alliance for Immigrant and Refugee Justice. She was the founding chair of the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition, which formed in 1996 to restore food and cash assistance for low-income immigrants and refugees in Washington State. During the 2000s she worked at the Social Justice Fund, a public foundation supporting progressive organizations in the Northwest, and consulted for various institutions like the Western States Center, the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, the Nonprofit Assistance Center, the City of Seattle, and the Washington State Budget & Policy Center.
At ChangeLab Soya has authored two research reports: "Left or Right of the Color Line: Asian Americans and the Racial Justice Movement" and "The Importance of Asian Americans? It’s Not What You Think", and co-authored the Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit. She has convened numerous public events uniting scholars with social movement activists to explore race, gender, war/empire, and Asian American identity. Her writing has been published in Othering & Belonging: Expanding the Circle of Human Concern, and cited in places like the Routledge Companion to Asian American Media, ColorLines, and The Guardian.
By Sina Sam* and Soya Jung
Today, the United States is scheduled to deport 43 Khmer refugees on a flight from El Paso, Texas to Cambodia. Some reportedly have significant mental and physical disabilities. The fact that these deportations are taking place today, on the 50th anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, is a cruel irony. King’s assassination came exactly one year after delivering his Beyond Vietnam speech at Riverside Church in New York City, in which he methodically traced connections between the U.S. war in Southeast Asia, and entrenched poverty and racism … Read more “On 50th anniversary of MLK assassination, ICE deports Khmer refugees to Cambodia”
This is a transcript of a panel discussion that ChangeLab convened at last year’s Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS) Conference in Portland, OR. It was first published in Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Studies, Volume 4, no. 2 (Fall 2017) and is republished here with permission.
Soya: Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us. My name is Soya Jung, and I’m a senior partner at ChangeLab, which is a racial justice experimental think tank that studies how demographic change, neoliberalism, and the rise of right-wing movements are affecting racial politics, with a special focus on … Read more “Twenty-Five Years after Sa-I-Gu: Multiracial Politics in Times of Crisis”
Put Some Knowledge in Your Pocket!
ChangeLab is grateful to our comrades at If You Don’t They Will for creating this awesome portable resource for understanding and defeating white nationalism. Download it, print it double-sided, and fold it into a pocket-sized guide!
These are volatile times, rife with both grave dangers and progressive possibilities.
To help prepare for the long pro-democracy and antiracist struggle ahead of us, ChangeLab is sharing this small downloadable/printable discussion guide, written by Scot Nakagawa and Suzanne Pharr. We hope it’s useful.
Stay tuned for more tools and resources, and please give us your feedback and thoughts in the comments. Hearts open, fists up!
Hearts open, fists up: the color line
I was asked to share the following mashup of an essay titled “The Endurance of the Color Line” published in the journal Othering & Belonging: Expanding the Circle of Human Concern and remarks I gave as part of a public talk called “Hearts Open, Fists Up” at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Good afternoon. How are you? Maybe it’s better to ask, are you struggling well?
This is a time of deep uncertainty, of questioning assumptions. But in many ways, it has always been that time, hasn’t it? Who … Read more “Hearts open, fists up: the color line”
As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, We Will Resist
We stand at a critical juncture in world history. The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States represents a direct threat to millions of people’s safety and to the health of the planet. As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) committed to equality, inclusion, and justice, we pledge to resist any efforts by President-Elect Trump’s administration to target and exploit communities, to strip people of their fundamental rights and access to essential services, and to use rhetoric and policies that divide the American people and endanger the world.… Read more “100+ Asian American & Pacific Islander Organizations Pledge to Resist Repression Under Trump Administration”
Hearts open, fists up
I won’t lie. On Tuesday night as Donald Trump’s path to the presidency became ever clearer, I drank a bunch of bourbon, felt my ribcage tighten and my heart break. It was hard to breathe. I texted people furiously asking what we could push Obama to do in his final days in office. How would we keep people safe? Trans people, Black people, Muslims and Sikhs, undocumented people, people with criminal records, queer young people… people I love. What obstacles could we throw in Trump’s way before he takes office?
I woke up the next morning and heard from loved … Read more “Hearts open, fists up”
Uncle Bob’s way: love and power
The day Uncle Bob passed away, I was in a car with a few young Asian American activists. We had just spent the day at the API Cultural Awareness Group’s (APICAG) annual banquet at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center. It was an intense day filled with joy and grief, but mostly love. We celebrated and broke bread with our friends at the APICAG, most of them young men, all of them with tremendous human potential, locked up with decades-long or life sentences. Visiting them always feels like an intimate crash-course on humanity. The group, led by Felix Sitthivong and … Read more “Uncle Bob’s way: love and power”
The Messy House That Race Made
Visible divisions within the Chinese American community over NYPD Officer Peter Liang’s conviction in the death of Akai Gurley have created a news and social media spectacle, and deep anxiety for many Asian American racial justice activists. Personally I agree with Liang’s conviction, and strongly condemn the threats and intimidation that some Liang supporters are waging against CAAAV, which has stood staunchly by the Gurley family. But like others, I’m disturbed at how things have become so polarized, and wonder if, despite the optics, Asian Americans may find some room for agreement across the fault lines that have emerged.