How can arts be a form of resistance and organizing?
Art can take many forms and mediums—painting, drawing, music, theater, dance, poetry, and etc.—and can be used as an effective means for movements to raise awareness, build communities, and inspire social change. Utilizing art and culture creates a space for learning about the shared challenges between different communities while recognizing and celebrating our differences. Art can not only impact a wide public audience but also challenge narratives that obscure our fight for broader racial, economic, and social justice.
What is a worker center?
The negative effects of climate change disproportionally affect all working people. Workers and environmentalists must be engaged together to address the deepening income inequality. Long-term sustainability must address environmental protection; economic fairness, including income inequality and jobs; and social justice.
Why do we need alternative forms of organizing?
Because worker centers are not unions, they are not subject to regulations imposed by the National Labor Relations Board. Worker centers provide another way for workers to join the movement for economic, racial, and social justice. With the threat of national right-to-work, alternative forms of organizing of working people is more crucial than ever.
What is the “gig economy” or “shared economy”? What is the implication of the shared economy on workers and people of color?
The gig economy, also known as the shared economy, is an internet based peer-to-peer economic model, where individuals rent out their assets or provide services to others. Examples include ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, which connects drivers with passengers, and Airbnb, which allows people to rent their homes to others. On the worker side, many employees of these companies are classified as “independent contractors” and thus not entitled to the benefits and protections of state and federal labor laws. These companies also directly compete with unionized businesses, such as taxi drives and hotel workers. On the consumer side, there have been many cases where people of color customers face discrimination by these contractors since such companies operate in a legal gray zone, where it is not entirely bound to offer equal access.
Is our public school system under attack? Why are public schools important?
Absolutely. We have to beware of policies that will harm public schools, primarily through the voucher program and charter schools. Voucher programs allow public money, which was originally intended for public schools, to be diverted to private schools, and charter schools are often not held to the same standards of accountability, transparency, and equity as public schools. Public schools are an integral social anchor in local communities, where teachers not only educate but empower students to achieve their fullest potential. What needs to be done is to support to increase funding to our public schools, so they are more equipped to provide a strong environment of learning for all students. In addition, it is necessary to support public school teachers and their work.
What is the Affordable Care Act and what has it done?
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010 with provisions coming into force in 2014. All health insurance plans must include essential health benefits, such as mental health and chronic illness. Since enactment, ACA has:
• Improved access to quality health insurance and lower cost over time,
• Allowed insurance to be purchased on health exchanges with tax credits and subsidies,
• Expanded Medicaid, and
• Introduced new consumer insurance protections
Furthermore, more than 20 million Americans now have healthcare coverage, and coverage can no longer be denied to those with preexisting conditions.
What is “right-to-work” and why is it bad for the labor movement?
Right-to-work prohibits collective bargaining agreements between employers and union members. 27 states and Guam have adopted right-to-work laws, and some of whom have adopted right-to-work constitutional amendments. The term “right-to-work” is a misnomer to give the impression that it will benefit workers and protect workers against being forced to join a union. In reality, federal law already makes it illegal to force someone to join a union. The real purpose of right-to-work laws is to tilt the balance toward big corporations and further rig the system at the expense of working families. These laws make it harder for working people to form unions and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.
Why is fighting the climate crisis a labor issue?
The negative effects of climate change disproportionately affect all working people. Workers and environmentalists must be engaged together to address the deepening income inequality. Long-term sustainability must address environmental protection; economic fairness, including income inequality and jobs; and social justice.
Why is fighting for protections for LGBTQ working people important?
In a majority of states, working people can be fired due to their sexual orientation or
gender identity or expression. LGBTQ workers on average earn less than heterosexual workers, this is especially true for women in same sex relationships. Our AAPI trans siblings experience higher rates of poverty than the overall trans community and six times the general AAPI population. Union contracts can prevent discrimination and lead to stability for LGBTQ working people. Union contracts are also the only legal form of protection against employment discrimination for transgender working people. More information can be found at: www.prideatwork.org/resources/lgbtq-101
Why is equal pay for equal work important?
AAPI women earn about 85 cents for every dollar that white men earn. When you disaggregate data, the gap is even wider for many AAPI subpopulations. For example, Bhutanese and Marshallese women need to work more than two years to earn the equivalent of a white man’s one year salary. The wage gap is also significant for other women of color. Latina women earn about 54 cents for every dollar that white men earn and Black women earn about 63 cents for every dollar that white men earn. The pay gap reinforces sexism and leaves long-term consequences for women workers.
Why is it important to fight for reproductive justice?
Reproductive justice is a movement that envisions all people, especially women and girls, to have the economic, social, and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about their bodies, sexuality, and reproduction. Ensuring that people have power over their reproductive choices is critical for their economic security and livelihoods.
More information can be found at sistersong.net
What is the “model minority myth” and “good vs. bad immigrant” narrative? The “model minority myth” holds that the AAPI community typically holds a higher degree of socioeconomic success than other racial groups. The “good vs. bad immigrant” narrative holds that a certain segment of immigrants are “good” and “deserving” to be in the U.S. and a certain segment of immigrants are “bad” and often seen as criminals.
Why must we counter these narratives? These narratives position the AAPI community as a racial wedge that pits other communities of color against each other and inhibits our ability to build cross-racial solidarity and coalitions. Especially in a time where the current administration spews hateful rhetoric against Latinx and Muslim immigrants, false narratives have serious implications for everyday people, such as the rise in hate crimes and hate violence and the decrease of refugee resettlement in the US.
Where does the term “anti-Blackness” come from? Why should we fight against it? Anti-Blackness stems from colonial America, where African slaves were forcibly brought to this country and dehumanized. Anti-Black sentiments has been ingrained into the fabric of our country, and these inhuman attitudes have seeped their away into AAPI communities. Anti-Blackness creates racial wedges between people of color, causes complacency amongst the AAPI communities towards the struggles of Black communities, and obstructs meaningful collective solidarity.
What is data disaggregation, and why is it important for the AAPI community? Data disaggregation is the breaking down of data into subcategories, such as ethnic subcategories like Chinese and Indian, to provide more insight in order to plan effective evidence-based actions. Looking at disaggregated data will help policy makers allocate resources to areas, where it is most needed and effective. Data disaggregation shatters the “model minority” myth that is unjustly applied to all AAPIs and is used as a racial wedge between communities of color. Furthermore, data disaggregation enables effective evidence- based policy around the distinct needs of the diverse AAPI communities and identification of specific barriers to access services and resources at the local, state, and federal level.
Why is ending mass incarceration a labor issue? Mass incarceration is not only a civil rights issue, it’s an economics issue. The mass criminalization of millions of men and women, mostly people of color who are imprisoned for small infractions, creates a group of second-class citizens who are unable to rebuild a life for themselves even after serving their time. We believe that the formerly incarcerated deserve a fair chance to reintegrate into our communities; support training and education programs and the restoration of full citizenship rights; and back policies that disrupt the school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline.
Does mass incarceration affect AAPIs? Absolutely. From 2000 to 2010, the AAPI prison population quadrupled. Since AAPIs are often officially characterized as “others” throughout the US prison system, AAPI inmate data gets lost and effectively shows that AAPIs do not exist in the prison system. What we do know is that Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders are incarcerated at a much higher rate than average, and incarcerated and formerly incarcerated experience unique challenges, such as cultural stigma, a lack of linguistically- and culturally-competent resources or services, disownment from families, and even deportation when getting out of prison.
What can we do to end the mass incarceration of AAPIs? We need to disrupt the school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline, which is a national trend wherein children are funneled through public schools, the criminal justice system, and then ultimately deported. APALA calls for more investments in solutions that promote restorative justice and healing, rather than dehumanization.
What is a pronoun?
A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (like I or you) or someone or something that is being talked about (like she, it, them, and this). Gender pronouns (like he, her, and they) specifically refer to people that you are talking about.
What are some commonly used pronouns?
She, her, hers and he, him, his are the most commonly used pronouns. Some people call these “female/ feminine” and “male/masculine” pronouns, but many avoid these labels because, for example, not everyone who uses he feels like a “male” or “masculine.”
There are also lots of gender-neutral pronouns in use. Here are a few you might hear:
At the 2017 APALA Convention, members voted on a resolution to be more gender inclusive in our language and in our programming. Use the gender neutral “sibling” unless someone has otherwise shared their gender pronoun. In referencing groups of people use “brothers, sisters, and siblings”.
Why is it important to respect people’s pronouns?
You can’t always know what someone’s gender pronoun is by looking at them. Asking and correctly using someone’s pronoun is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity. When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric (or, often, all of the above.). It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but also oppressive.
How do I ask someone what their pronoun is?
Try asking: “What are your pronouns?” or “Which pronouns do you like to hear?” or “Can you remind me which pronouns you like for yourself?” It can feel awkward at first, but it is not half as awkward as getting it wrong or making a hurtful assumption. If you are asking as part of an introduction exercise and you want to quickly explain what a pronoun is, you can try something like this: “Tell us your name, where you come from, and your pronouns. That means the pronoun you like to be referred to with. For example, I’m Xena, I’m from Amazon Island, and I like to be referred to with she, her, and hers pronouns. So you could say, ‘she went to her car’ if you were talking about me.”
What if I make a mistake?
It’s okay! Everyone slips up from time to time. The best thing to do if you use the wrong pronoun for someone is to say something right away, like “Sorry, I meant she.” If you realize your mistake after the fact, apologize in private and move on. A lot of the time it can be tempting to go on and on about how bad you feel that you messed up or how hard it is for you to get it right. But please, don’t! It is inappropriate and makes the person who was mis-gendered feel awkward and responsible for comforting you, which is absolutely not their job. It is your job to remember people’s pronouns.
Taking an active role
You may hear someone using the wrong pronoun for another person. In most cases, it is appropriate to gently correct them without further embarrassing the individual who has been mis-gendered. This means saying something like “Actually, Xena prefers the pronoun she,” and then moving on. If others are consistently using the wrong pronouns for someone, do not ignore it! It is important to let your trans and gender non-conforming people know that you are their ally. It may be appropriate to approach them and say something like “I noticed that you were getting referred to with the wrong pronoun earlier, and I know that that can be really hurtful. Would you be okay with me taking them aside and reminding them about your pronouns? I want to make sure that this group is a safe space for you.” Follow up if necessary, but take your cues from the comfort level of the trans or gender non-conforming person. Your actions will be greatly appreciated.
Based on materials written by Mateo Medina for Hampshire College Orientation training, August 2011.
APALA is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment, regardless of an individual’s race, ethnicity, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, ancestry, pregnancy, or any other characteristic prohibited by law.
As such, APALA will not tolerate discriminatory, harassing or otherwise unacceptable behavior at any of its activities, events, or meetings. APALA expects everyone who participates in any of its activities, events or meetings to abide by this standard of conduct.
There will be no retaliation or other adverse actions taken against an individual who makes a complaint. Complaints should be sent to CareTeam@apalanet.org.
We would like to thank AFSCME for providing the language above.
APALA's 5th Principle for Collective Liberation is Home and Sovereignty where we acknowledge that many of us are on land stolen from indigenous people, and at the same time, many of us have been removed and disconnected from our homes and cultures by military force, climate change, and corporate greed. For this reason, we work towards a just transition for our planet that prioritizes Indigenous sovereignty and access to good health, housing, and stability for poor and working people across the globe.
This starts with us acknowledging the land that we are on and honoring the people who have been caring for this land. Join us to learn more about the land you are occupying and finding ways to be in solidarity with them in their fights for land back and sovereignty.
Use this website as a start: https://native-land.ca
Comment below with who's land you are on.