I’m a runner, and I write an AAPI political advocacy blog. How could I not be all about this campaign?
In California, the API prisoner community has more than doubled in the last twenty years, and men and women of several Asian American and Pacific Islander ethnicities — including Samoans, Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians — have particularly high arrest rates in California. Yet, many of these men and women are racially classified as “Other” in that state, resulting in our community’s high incarceration rate being often overlooked in social programs aimed at preventing recidivism (all information from APSC website).
The Asian Prisoner Support Committee — supported by Chinese for Affirmative Action — is in the final days of a crowdsourced campaign to raise money for their program, ROOTS (Restoring Our Original Selves). ROOTS is a weekly class held in San Quentin (and also includes an offshoot program held in Oakland) for current and formerly incarcerated AAPI men and women; it seeks to improve knowledge and awareness of AAPI history and culture through guest lectures, leadership classes, and workshops. The purpose of ROOTS is to improve integration of current and former AAPI prisoners into the community through education and healing.
A team of eight runners are running at a local race to try and raise awareness and funds to buy teaching materials for the ROOTS program. They have two days to raise an additional $2000.
Running for heart health and to advance the education of Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies and to address mass incarceration and recidivism rates? Where is the down-side?
If you have a few extra dollars kicking around, please donate to this campaign. Why? Because it is awesome.