In the May 2021 episode of Solidarity Is This, Bo Thao-Urabe (the executive and network director of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders – Minnesota) joins Deepa Iyer to share how Asian American communities are supporting each other and building their solidarity muscle in Minnesota, one year after the murder of George Floyd.
Listen for the following themes:
- What are the roots of anti-Asian racism that we are bearing witness to now? Read Mae Ngae’s Racism Has Always Been Part of the Asian Experience in The Atlantic here.
- Bo mentions that many Asian American community members feel as if their neighbors and friends would not come to aid them if they were hurt. How can we play a role to be a co-conspirator with communities targeted by racism, ensuring all people can live with safety and dignity?
Check out CAAL’s list of steps you can take to combat anti-Asian racism: https://caalmn.org/asians-mns-alliance-4-justice/take-action-against-anti-asian-racism/
Attend a bystander intervention training: https://www.advancingjustice-chicago.org/what-we-do/bystander-intervention-trainings/
- What does it mean to have ‘complex unity’ in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities which contain many diverse histories and experiences? How can we organize around commonalities without erasing or flattening the diversity among our communities and their lived experiences?
- Bo says that “we can’t police away racism –and that means that it is going to be reliant on communities to keep each other safe.” How do we protect our communities without resorting to solutions that increase the presence and power of law enforcement or the carceral state?
Read abolitionist Mariame Kaba’s essay “Yes, We Literally Mean Abolish the Police” and her book We Do This Till We Free Us, available at Haymarket Books.
- Bo explains that solidarity is a muscle that needs to be strengthened through practice. How are Asian and Black communities building together?
Listen to the People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation’s session with the Movement for Black Lives here.
- As we attempt to create sustainable movements, how can we recognize the center the wisdom and the experiences of elders and women? How can we tangibly support and care for one another to heal trauma and burnout?
Read BMP’s report, On The Frontlines about how people-of-color led organizations are navigating the pandemic and responding to the calls for racial justice and solidarity.
- What can we learn from histories and experiments in solidarity practice?
Check out BMP/SolidarityIs’ new collaboration with the Solidarity Working Group of the National Asian American Leaders Table (including Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Consulting, NAKASEC, and Allie Yee) called Solidarity Stories. At www.solidaritystories.org, you’ll find a series of solidarity case studies, short video clips, and a toolkit. Solidarity Stories take us from the Filipino farmworker struggle to the LA Uprising to post 9/11 America to Mauna Kea. They show us the links between the incarceration of Japanese Americans and the detention of immigrants today, between the migration experiences of Indo-Caribbeans and the shared struggle with Black communities now. They call us into action for co-liberation with Black communities. They reveal the challenges of solidarity practice. They inspire us to find the connections and commonalities, to deepen our capacity, and to remember that #WeChooseSolidarity every single time.
Check out the full episode notes and transcript here.
This episode of Solidarity Is This is dedicated to Allison Brown – a visionary and bridge builder, and now, an ancestor guiding the path towards justice and liberation. Allison’s writing can be found here. For more information on the podcast, please contact host, Deepa Iyer, at email@example.com.