Reappropriate’s Top 5 for #GivingTuesday 2017 (and a listing of AAPI non-profits)

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!

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1 Dead, 2 Injured in Possible Race-Related Mass Shooting After Attacker Yells “Get Out Of My Country”

The three victims of the Wednesday night Olathe shooting: Alok Madasani (left), Srinivas Kuchibhotla (center) and Ian Grillot (right). (Photo credits: Kansas City Star.)

This post was updated on 2/24/2017.

In Olathe, Kansas, one man is dead and two more are critically injured after a man fired multiple bullets into a crowded sports bar. Initial reports from a Kansas City Star reporter who tweeted from the scene initially described two of the shooting victims as “Middle Eastern or Indian” and that the shooter may have uttered racial slurs before opening fire.

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.

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Karlie Kloss Apologizes for Appearing in Yellowface for “Vogue’s” Diversity Fashion Shoot

Model Karlie Kloss appears as a geisha in a recent Vogue photoshoot.

Model Karlie Kloss has apologized for appearing in yellowface for a photoshoot for Vogue magazine.

In the most recent issue of Vogue magazine, Kloss appears styled in full-out geisha drag — complete with kimonos, black wig, and winged dark black eye liner — and poses alongside pagodas, waterfalls, and even a sumo wrestler. And of course, irony of ironies: this putrid revelry in offensive Orientalism appeared in Vogue‘s “diversity” issue. That issue has already been slammed for the lack of body or skin colour diversity in the seven models chosen to grace its cover; and that’s even before anyone opened the magazine up to the photoshoot featuring Karlie Kloss (pictures after the jump)

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Mike Huckabee tweets racist anti-Asian joke during CNN Democratic Debate

I get that tonight’s Democratic debate has been highly entertaining, but this tweet from Mike Huckabee sent just a few minutes ago is super fucking racist.

Last night, several of the candidates for the GOP nomination took the opportunity of the Democratic Party’s first presidential primary debate of the season to live-tweet. And, by live-tweet, I mean troll. In stark contrast to the nuanced policy debate taking place on stage in Las Vegas where candidates were searching for respectful differences in opinions and strategies, Donald Trump and Huckabee spent the majority of last night composing 140 character insults and ad hominem attacks. Although Trump declared that no former mayor of Baltimore should ever be president, it was Huckabee who made waves with a tweet referencing the racist stereotype that Asians are untrustworthy and barbaric eaters of dogmeat.

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Seller of Japanese American Incarceration Artifacts Revealed | #StopRago

A painting included in the Eaton Collection, by an anonymous artist.
A painting included in the Eaton Collection, by an anonymous artist.

Last week, New Jersey-based Rago Arts and Auction House came under fire with news that they had been consigned by an anonymous seller living in Connecticut to sell a valuable collection of nearly 450 Japanese American incarceration artifacts — most of them commissioned black-and-white photographs and hand-made artpieces created by incarcerees. Many of the pieces were donated to famed art historian Allen H. Eaton with the understanding that he would use them in a public exhibition to draw attention to the injustices of the camp, but not for sale or profit. When Eaton died, the collection was passed down to his daughter before making its way to the family of the anonymous seller who planned to auction the collection piecemeal through Rago on Friday.

As news of the planned sale — which was scheduled for auction on Friday, April 17 — made its way to the public, many within the Japanese American community were understandably outraged. Many within the community (including several who found pictures of relatives, and family heirlooms, within the Eaton collection) spoke out vocally against the sale, which amounted to profiteering off the pain of survivors of American concentration camps. A Facebook-based social media campaign (“Japanese American History: NOT For Sale“) sprung up with the goal of halting Friday’s auction, and to propose an alternative solution to the public sale that would honour the original intent of the collection.

Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation — the group responsible for maintaining the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center at the site of the Heart Mountain incarceration Camp where many of the items in the Eaton collection were obtained —  gathered pledges to make a cash offer of $50,000 to Rago Auction House. Bafflingly, that offer was turned down.

It seemed that Friday’s auction would go on as planned until on Wednesday, HMWF notified Rago of their intention to file a lawsuit challenging the legality of the sale, and actor George Takei also independently intervened. By Wednesday evening, Rago announced that the auction of the Eaton collection had been cancelled, and that a resolution would instead be negotiated with representatives of the Japanese American community (including Mr. Takei).

Throughout the unfolding of this story, one thing has remained unknown: the identity of the Eaton Collection’s consigner. Friday evening, the New York Times revealed that the seller is John Ryan, a sales and marketing employee for a credit card company, who lives in Connecticut.

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