Our hearts are with the families of the victims of the devastating violence in Atlanta this week, and with all the girls and communities affected by the recent increase in racist attacks on the AAPI community in the US. Technovation’s programs support girls and women around the world, many of whom are Asian and Asian American. To all those girls and women: we love you, and you matter. We stand with you.
The victims of the violent attacks in Atlanta were fully and wonderfully human and complex. They were not flat projections, temptations, or vessels for one man’s feelings.
Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, and the other victims of these attacks had rich, full lives and were deeply loved. We mourn their loss.
We must #StopAAPIHate. We must stop objectifying girls and women, and exoticizing girls and women.
Stereotypes flatten, demean, and dehumanize. They are not excuses or reasons for racist attacks and abhorrent behavior. We must actively combat stereotypes and teach our children, our communities, and ourselves better. We must be actively anti-racist, anti-misogynist and anti-xenophobic.
Technovation has been dedicated to empowering girls and women for the last 15 years, but the bleak truth is that not much has changed. Girls and women continue to bear the brunt of racism and gender-based violence. It’s 2021, and we still don’t have a single country in the world with gender equality.
There are immense systems of power and privilege, which are deeply invested in ensuring that the people who have always had power remain in power. Changing these systems is not the sole responsibility of individuals — it will require community and government action and support. However, there are things we can and must do as individuals who are shaped by and shape those systems of power and privilege.
We must — especially white men and women — understand that although changing power structures will not be comfortable, it is necessary and overdue. It is deeply uncomfortable when you are told that what you are doing and thinking is wrong, to hear that your behavior and words hurt people, and that you are perpetuating systems of violence. But it is much worse to bear the impact of that violence, to be injured, brutalized, murdered.
For those in places of power and privilege — letting go of power is not easy or comfortable. We must recognize that we are uncomfortable, and then wade further into discomfort to change these systems and ourselves. Start today, and then go deeper and further.
To every adult: we need to have honest conversations with the boys and men in our lives. We can start with our homes, and understand the deep roots of misogyny and racism in our own lives and families. Start by questioning how we raise our boys to see themselves and how we raise them to see women and girls. We can start by looking at who we ask to do the work of cleaning, caring, and tending, and who we let create a mess. Look at who we excuse, and who we hold accountable. Whose lives we value, whose names we learn and look up to as role models, who we consider community and who we don’t consider at all. And we can change that.
We invite you to ask yourself — what are concrete things you will do today to support Asian and Asian American women and girls? What will you do to challenge and change existing power structures?
We encourage you to donate to organizations who have been doing this work for a long time already (we’ve included some below) — and then take action. Here are some resources we have found helpful.
Donate to organizations doing the work.
Asian American Advocacy Fund(Georgia)
This resource has more information about local organizations you can research and give to if you are interested in supporting your local community as well.
Learn how to intervene and de-escalate race-based violence: Hollaback’s bystander intervention training to stop anti Asian/American and xenophobic harassment, developed in partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
Educate yourself. We found this compilation of resources about Asian American identity and history from Learning for Justice helpful, and are adding books to our reading list from this list of books to help understand anti-Asian racism in America, from Vox.
Listen, and learn. We are closely listening to the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and particularly their Atlanta Chapter. We are also following the work of journalists including Helen Zia,Michelle Ye Hee Lee (Washington Post), Julia B. Chan, (KQED) Kimmy Yam (NBC), Cecilia Lei, (Vox) Nicole Hong, (The New York Times), Janice Yu, (Fox 5 Atlanta) Karen K. Ho (Quartz) Teresa Watanabe (The Los Angeles Times).