Stop Asian Hate: An Invitation to be Courageous
The horrific killing of Soon-chung Park, Sun-cha Kim, Yong-ae Yue, Paul Andre Michels, Hyun-jung Grant, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, and Delaina Ashley Yaun has called on us to pause, to grieve, to reflect, to listen, to dig deep into our ancestral sources of resilience, to think about the world we want for our communities and to think about what is ours to name and what is ours to do to change the story.
At Courageous Change Collective, we have a vision of interconnected communities rooted in radical love, healing and justice. We are writing to invite ourselves and our community to be courageous. An invitation to be courageous enough to speak our truth. Courageous enough to not oversimplify the issue. Courageous enough to hold multiple truths and systems of oppression. Courageous enough to name and feel the pain in our own communities while not allowing it to prevent us from seeing the pain in other communities. Courageous enough to reach for one another. Courageous enough to create the changes we need for everyone to be well.
How can we be courageous as we are building interconnected communities? Events like this can divide us. We forget that we can be a part of one another’s healing. That what happens to one of us impacts all of us. Healing happens in the context of community, our connections in community help us to remember that there are larger patterns at work and we are not alone. That my well being is your well being. Noticing that we all impact each other. While white supremacy, misogyny and xenophobia impact our communities differently, our work to end them is most powerful when it recognizes that they are all rooted in the same interwoven systems of oppression. Justice and healing call on us to work together to uproot them.
For us the practice of radical love is investing both in unlimited grace and unlimited accountability. Love and accountability requires us to remember the lives that were ripped away from our communities on March 16th, 2021. The lives of Soon-chung Park, Sun-cha Kim, Yong-ae Yue, Paul Andre Michels, Hyun-jung Grant, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, and Delaina Ashley Yaun. These lives did not need to end, and we must seek accountability. Accountability requires us to acknowledge that this was not an isolated incident, but part of a larger story of violence against the Asian community, especially those most vulnerable. We must not only seek justice for these murders, but seek an end to the larger story that perpetuates discrimination and violence. As we work together to create these changes, we invite ourselves and our communities to offer one another grace. Grace does not call us to minimize or offer cheap forgiveness, but to lean in and figure a way forward. The work is messy and painful, complex and challenging. We need each other.
Healing begins when we name the truth, our own and our communities. It is about seeing and acknowledging what has and is happening. The work of attending to our healing is systems change, and the healing will never be complete until our systems are changed. Healing must happen on the individual, community and systems level. There is a place for everyone in the healing journey - regardless of the identities we carry, whether they grant us power or make us targets. All of us have a role to play. As women in all of our diversity (femmes, non-binary, trans), we want to invite the beloved men in our community - especially white men - to create spaces for your healing. To do the work of vulnerable reflection, of listening deeply to women, and to identify your sphere of influence and use your voice in those spaces. Our liberation is tied up together and we need you as our allies. We invite you to be courageous and stand with us in creating a more just world where women - especially women of color - are no longer the targets of violence.
Working towards justice involves explicitly naming the forces that are causing us harm and disrupting patterns of oppression. The complex barriers to justice that we must disrupt include white supremacy, patriarchy, militarism, imperialism and colonialism. These systems of oppression are used to control and oppress women - especially women of color around the world. Acting courageously invites us to disrupt patterns of oppression in ourselves, our communities and our systems.
On behalf of the Courageous Change Collective,
Nou Yang, Sindy Morales Garcia and Kirsten Johnson