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Civic Engagement Committee


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APAWLA’s Civic Engagement Committee takes affirmative and strategic steps to replace systems of white supremacy and patriarchy with systems promoting racial and gender equity. If you are interested in joining the Civic Engagement Committee please email apawlacivicengagement@gmail.com.
 
 
 


THINKING OUT LOUD SERIES

APAWLA introduces Thinking Out Loud, member-driven small group discussions to talk about issues impacting the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The idea for this program came from the desire to carve out and hold space in our busy lives to learn, reflect and talk with our peers about issues impacting our communities. We hope Thinking Out Loud will result in APAWLA members developing their own understanding of, and engaging others about, important social issues.

How it works. We will send out a syllabus for each small group discussion. Each syllabus should take approximately two hours to complete. If you are interested in participating in the group discussion, sign up before the deadline. Discussion groups will be held at least two weeks after the syllabus is announced. The discussion groups are member-driven, so there will be no facilitators. We will provide questions to help kick off the conversation. We will aim to create small groups of no more than four participants. The small group discussions are open to current APAWLA members.


Chapter 2: Understanding Critical Race Theory

You may have read about “critical race theory” in the news lately. Legal scholarship that goes by the same name, Critical Race Theory (CRT), dates back to the 1970s and provides a framework through which we can examine and explain the dynamics between race and law. The phrase “critical race theory” entered the nation’s consciousness in September 2020 when then-President Trump issued an executive order prohibiting diversity training for federal contractors teaching about “critical race theory” and “white privilege.” Although President Biden has since rescinded the executive order, “critical race theory” has remained in the headlines with more than 20 states having introduced or passed legislation banning “critical race theory” from K-12 education.

We begin this month’s Thinking Out Loud by hearing from CRT scholars Kimberlee Crenshaw and Mari Matsuda. After learning about the framework CRT offers to help us understand the relationship between law and racial inequities, we explore the current controversy over “critical race theory” and how it is being deployed in public discourse about race and racism in America.

The discussion will be held on July 20, 2021 from 12pm to 1pm and is open to all current APAWLA members. Please RSVP here by July 18 if you would like to attend. We will send out Zoom information, discussion guidelines and questions to those participating. If you have any questions, please contact apawlacivicengagement@gmail.com.

1. Kimberle Crenshaw on the state of civil rights in America, intersectionality, and critical race theory, Luminary, May 19, 2019 (1 hour, 11 minutes)
https://luminarypodcasts.com/listen/lucid-llc/luminary/kimberle-crenshaw...

2. Critical Race Theory is not Anti-Asian, Mari Matsuda, March 12, 2021
http://reappropriate.co/2021/03/mari-matsuda-critical-race-theory-is-not...

3. Countering Racial Bias in Courts Requires Bold Change, Jason Wu, Nov. 15, 2020
https://www.law360.com/articles/1324728/countering-racial-bias-in-courts...

4. What the hysteria over critical race theory is really all about, Fabiloa Cineas, June 24, 2021 (Note: Link to companion podcast episode [28 minutes] available in article.)
https://www.vox.com/22443822/critical-race-theory-controversy

5. Map: Where Critical Race Theory Is Under Attack, Education Week, updated as of June 23, 2021 (Note: Scroll over states for brief explanations of bills or laws.)
https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/map-where-critical-race-theory-is...

6. #TruthBeTold Campaign, African American Policy Forum (ongoing)
https://www.aapf.org/truthbetold and https://www.aapf.org/truthbetold-media


Chapter 1: Exploring Anti-Asian Racism and Violence

(total syllabus time: 2 hours, 15 minutes)

We will explore and reflect on anti-Asian racism and violence. This is a topic that hits close to home. Most of us have experienced or know someone who has experienced an anti-Asian incident. We know this is not a new issue. The recent spate of anti-Asian hate and violence has brought renewed attention to this issue. The materials discuss the history of anti-Asian racism in America; statistics, stories and reactions about recent anti-Asian incidents and hate crimes, including against Asian American women; paths forward based on community and multiracial alliance building; and how to actively take a stand against anti-Asian harassment.

The first discussion will be held on April 20, 2021 from 6pm to 7pm. Please RSVP here by April 16 if you would like to attend. We will send out Zoom information, discussion guidelines and questions to those participating. If you have any questions, please contact apawlacivicengagement@gmail.com.

1. 2020-2021 National Report by Stop AAPI Hate (March 16, 2021) (15 minutes)
https://secureservercdn.net/104.238.69.231/a1w.90d.myftpupload.com/wp-co...

2. The surge of anti-Asian violence on Today, Explained (March 4, 2021) (30 minutes)
The United States is stumbling through two racial reckonings at once. Author Jeff Chang says it’s an inflection point centuries in the making.
https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-surge-of-anti-asian-violence/i... (also available on Audible and Spotify)

3. Racism, sexism must be considered in Atlanta case involving killing of six Asian women, experts say by Kimmy Yam (March 17, 2021) (15 minutes)
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/racism-sexism-must-be-conside...

4. A Letter to My Fellow Asian Women Whose Hearts are Still Breaking by R.O. Kwon (March 19, 2021) (15 minutes)
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/03/ro-kwon-letter-to-asian-women

5. The history of tensions — and solidarity — between Black and Asian American communities, explained by Jerusalum Demsas and Rachel Ramirez (March 16, 2021) (25 minutes)
https://www.vox.com/22321234/black-asian-american-tensions-solidarity-hi...

6. On Anti-Asian Hate Crimes and Who is Our Real Enemy by Michelle Kim (February 10, 2021) (15 minutes)
https://medium.com/awaken-blog/on-anti-asian-hate-crimes-who-is-our-real...

7. Bystander Intervention Training by Hollaback! (20 minutes)
You can make a choice to actively and visibly take a stand against harassment. The Five D’s are different methods you can use to support someone who’s being harassed, emphasize that harassment is not okay, and demonstrate to people in your life that they too have the power to make our communities and workplaces safer.
https://www.ihollaback.org/bystander-resources/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAv6yCBhCLAR...

Disclaimer language: The opinions expressed in these resources are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA). The resources listed in this syllabus and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of APAWLA. Content Warning: Videos and podcasts may include strong language and may not be suitable for some viewers. Viewer and listener discretion is advised.



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