What is “Open E.A.R.S. for Change” about?
“E.A.R.S.” stands for Engage. Activate. Rise-up. Series. This series is an on-going initiative that aims to build stronger allyship and co-conspiratorship among our API audiences with local Black communities in order to foster a more diverse and inclusive culture in our communities that is anti-racist and anti-discriminatory in the Oakland/East Bay Community.
The two key objectives of the series are:
1) address anti-blackness in API communities and meaningfully confront issues of colorism/racism in a safe space; and
2) address Black-Asian community relations specifically in the Oakland Chinatown area.
What does this program series look like?
This series is currently structured in three phases that will be regularly monitored and re-evaluated depending on capacity and available funding.
Programs under the Open EARS series can take on a number of formats with the intention of widening audience accessibility and inclusivity of different stages of understanding about anti-racism. Generally, our program contains the following categories:
How can I get involved?
We cannot do this work alone. We invite community members and organizations to partner with us on this multi-layered effort. Get involved! Got questions or ideas? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.We will continue to publish and build content related to this new initiative in this section. Please check back periodically for updates!
Click on the thumbnails below to learn more about each event/project.
How can we address anti–Blackness in our own communities and foster real relationships?
People Matter’s co–presidents and co–founders, Consuela Hendricks and Angela Lin discuss their organization and the work they do to counter anti–Black narratives in the Asian community while fostering cross–cultural relationships and community among Black and Asian communities in Chicago Chinatown. Their conversation is facilitated by OACC’s Facilities Coordinator, Pamela Ybañez.
How does hip hop culture positively impact and encourage Black & Asian solidarity?
Hip Hop For Change‘s Education Director, Marlon Richardson aka Unlearn The World (@unlearntheworld) and former Communications Director Stephanie Liem dive into the influence of hip hop in their lived experiences and explain how hip hop culture can meaningfully foster cross-cultural understanding among Black and Asian communities. Their conversation is facilitated by Jason Chu (@jasonchumusic), a Los Angeles-based Chinese American rapper.
How can art help break down silos and bring communities together?
Visual artists Tomye Neal Madison and Pallavi Sharma discuss themes of cross-cultural collaboration, the harm perpetuated by the model minority myth, police reform vs defunding the police, and their perspective on the importance of artistic practices fostering connection among diverse communities. Their conversation is facilitated by Pamela Ybanez, a visual artist and OACC’s Facilities & Rentals Coordinator.
How can artists play a role in providing rapid response support to communities in crisis?
In this episode, poets Chun Yu and Michael Warr talk about their ongoing collaborative project, “Two Languages, One Community.” With facilitator Hoi Leung (Curator, Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco), they also talk about how they expanded their connections with other artists and organizations to address violence against Asians in the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings.
How do we address anti-racism through the lens of community building and leveraging the virtual space?
We hear from Dr. Jennifer Tran (Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce) about her on-the-ground efforts to support local Vietnamese community members through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and BLM. Vina Vo and Josie Nguyen share how The Progressive Vietnamese American Organization (PIVOT) has shifted their social media outreach to be more outspoken about anti-racism and focusing on the upcoming elections to engage and inform Vietnamese voters.
What does anti-racism look like in our communities?
Local business owner Alicia Wong shares how Oakland Chinatown-based Fortune Cookie Company incorporated anti-racism as a business priority and achieved national visibility as a socially conscious enterprise. She is joined by Jessica Li (OCA-East Bay) and Trinh Banh (Good Good Eatz).