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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.
- PHASE 1: Develop the “Let’s Talk” audio series to highlight local stories of cross-racial solidarity
- PHASE 2: Translate the audio series transcripts into more languages, broadening our audience engagement
- PHASE 3: Develop program series that integrates anti-racist content into concrete local community efforts including a collaborative exhibit
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:
- “Activate” – events that help maintain the momentum and energy of informed, engaged individuals already involved in anti-racism efforts and learning.
- “Engage” – efforts that seek to directly engage key community sectors to cultivate a better understanding about the values expressed by the Black Lives Matter movement and address relations between API and Black communities.
- “Inform” – projects that leverage cross-cultural collaborations to help distribute information about anti-racism across a broader audience base.
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!
Episode 5: “Let’s Talk: Asian-Black Solidarity through Hip Hop”
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.
Transcripts to come.
Episode 4: “Let’s Talk: The Art in Cross-Cultural Collaboration”
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.
Transcripts to come.
Episode 3: “Let’s Talk: Poetry and Art as Rapid response”
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.
Transcripts to come.
Episode 2: “Let’s Talk Vietnamese Community!”
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.
Episode 1: “Let’s Talk Oakland Chinatown!”
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).