A woman looks out the window, with her back against a bed.
By Guest Contributor: Jenny Lee
My family and I do not agree on much — whether that is what food tastes good, how good of a daughter I am, or if I intend for my words to carry so much bitterness as they escape through my lips.
I have always sought a justification for this dissonance — a quick and easy answer as to why our family feels so divided. I blamed our immigration, the cultural and experiential gap that it has created between mother and daughter. I blamed Korean society, whose standards and expectations entrap me when I stray away from its conventions. I blamed White American society, which has upheld these systems of power and has thrust such an inferiority complex onto this family — both as a collective and as individuals — that it has pushed us from assimilation to preservation, from love to hate.
history three times at the 76th Golden Globes Awards as
the first Asian American host, the first Asian American woman to win multiple
Golden Globes, and the first Asian American woman in nearly 40 years to win for
Best Actress in a TV Drama for her role in Killing
Yet it was
not just her hosting duties or her receipt of a Best Actress award that made
the night so special for Asian Americans.
Rather, it was how Oh unabashedly celebrated her Asian-ness on live
TV. Asian Americans have rarely been
given the opportunity to have their faces or voices broadcasted live on such a
large platform. By owning her Asian
identity on stage, Oh took back control of the Asian American narrative.
Following a legal showdown between the Department of Justice and Harvard University over access to confidential student and applicant information requested through an affirmative action probe of the school, The New York Timesreports that Harvard administrators have offered a compromise that would grant Justice Department investigators nearly full access to the school’s admissions records.
However, Harvard has stipulated that investigators would only have access to those records — which includes access to the school’s electronic database for admissions records — in Harvard’s offices and with some personally identifying information redacted; this is to protect confidential student and applicant information from being leaked to the public. Harvard’s fears of a security breach of students’ personal information come in the wake of other high-profile examples of the Trump administration leaking sensitive information of private citizens on the internet.
One of my most popular posts each year is my Giving Tuesday post, which commemorates a national day to reject the crass consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday by promoting charitable donations. Organized by #NotOneDime, Giving Tuesday encourages each of us to make small (or large) gifts to any non-profit organizations.
Giving Tuesday typically publishes a database of non-profit organizations that will receive your donations, but I’ve found in the past that AAPI were woefully underrepresented. So, for the last several years, I have published my own (long, but not comprehensive) list of quality AAPI non-profit organizations to support for Giving Tuesday (2014 | 2015 | 2016).
After the jump you’ll find 2017’s updated list of great AAPI-focused non-profits — all of which could use a donation from you this year.
Before we get to the full list, here are my personal top five picks for 2017. Of course, every organization in the larger list deserves our charitable support, but, these are the groups I’ve decided to give a few if my dollars to for Giving Tuesday 2017.
Reappropriate’s 2017 Giving Tuesday Top 5:
APALA: I have been incredibly impressed with APALA’s work this year. Not only has APALA been on the frontlines of the fight to protected undocumented immigrants and preserve DACA, but APALA has also led and been involved in numerous other progressive causes, campaigns and community-organizing events. This is all, of course, on top of APALA’s work to support Asian American labor rights.
NAKASEC: NAKASEC is one of several organizations this year to put themselves front-and-center in the fight to preserve DACA, and that work has definitely not gone unnoticed. This year, NAKASEC organized #DreamAction17, a nearly month-long vigil and community action in front of the White House for undocumented immigrants. More recently, NAKASEC was part of a coalition of AAPI groups that staged a protest in front of Speaker Paul Ryan’s office demanding the passage of a clean DREAM Act. 19 Asian American activists were arrested in that action. I am supporting NAKASEC (and APALA) for placing themselves courageously at the frontlines of the fight for immigrant rights.
APIAVote: This year has proven how truly terrifying a Trump presidency is for communities of colour, and thus how essential it is that we mobilize our voters to be involved in the electoral process. APIAVote is a national non-partisan organization whose mission it is to build and strengthen the AAPI electorate. We need to invest in our community’s voters now if we hope to be heard at the polls in 2018 and 2020.
Kollaboration: Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in Kollboration’s Empower conference as a panelist, and I was particularly impressed by not only the fantastic quality of the event – a credit to the numerous young organizers who made the event possible – but also the sharp minds of the young activists who gave their weekend to engaging with the community. Kollaboration consistently places itself at the cutting edge of Asian American youth organizing, and for that I think we owe them our support.
Tuesday Night Project: Tuesday Night Project organizes Tuesday Night Cafe, the longest-running (and free) Asian American open mic event. TNC entered my life at an important moment: I had just moved to the West Coast and I was making a lot of difficult adjustments with the transition. I was also generally burnt out, and I was questioning the value of the work that I do with the Asian American community. I was angry — at the state of national politics and at the rising contentiousness of Asian American political discourse. I was in a rough place; TNC helped me to heal. Under a balmy Southern California night sky, I listened to music and poetry that was viscerally who-we-are, and felt immediately connected to our collective Asian American activist family. TNC reminded me of the beauty of our community, and the humble power in a unified vision. TNC reminded me that activism is art, and that art is activism; and that this is why we do what we do. Above all, TNC reminded me that sometimes the most radical act that we can engage in during these troubled times is to speak our personal truths and to just be who we are – openly and unapologetically. For those and for many other reasons, I am enthusiastically supporting Tuesday Night Project this year for Giving Tuesday, and I hope that if you are in the LA area, you will take time to check out this incredible local series when they resume their events next spring.
I encourage you to make a Giving Tuesday donation this year to one or more of the listed organizations in this post. You can either join me in giving to one of my 2017 Giving Tuesday Top 5 (above), or you can pick any of your favourites from the larger list of equally deserving organizations (after the jump)!
Don’t see your favourite organization on the list? Please leave a comment to have it added!
Details later released by law enforcement officials confirmed that two of the three shooting victims were of Indian descent, including 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla who died of his injuries late Wednesday night.