Safe Shores continues to stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community against hate and violence. Right now we’re celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Won’t you join us and check out some of these wonderful resources we’ve compiled just to start? #StopAsianHate
Read these Books for AAPI Heritage Month
Sigh, Gone – Phuc Tran
A coming-of-age memoir set in the ‘80s, Sigh, Gone explores a young man’s experience with adjusting to life in the United States. Interspersed with themes from works of classic literature, this story examines Tran’s journey for self-discovery.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down – Anne Fadiman
Fadimen recounts the story of Lia Lee, a child of recent Hmong immigrants who was diagnosed with epilepsy. Lee was left brain dead after a series of cultural clashes coupled with medical misunderstandings and miscommunication. The Sprit Catches You and You Fall Down examines the struggles many individuals face when it comes to assimilation and discrimination, and serves as a reminder of the importance of cultural competence in the healthcare field.
Indigenous Literatures from Micronesia Edited by Evelyn Flores and Emelihter Kihleng
This collection of poetry, essays, plays and short stories by Indigenous authors across Micronesia tell the stories of creation, memory, identity, relationships, changing culture, and more.
The Color of Success – Ellen D. Wu
Intertwining different perspectives, Wu explores the history of the “model minority” stereotype during the twentieth century. The Color of Success outlines the evolution of this stereotype and the significance it has had on how race, opportunity and nationhood is understood in the U.S.
Know My Name – Chanel Miller
Through her memoir, Chanel Miller details her experience with sexual assault and the struggles she has faced as a survivor. Know My Name has allowed Miller to reclaim her identity not only by recounting her story of trauma, resilience and healing, but through sharing anecdotes of her life, interests, hobbies and goals.
Not Quite Not White : Losing and Finding Race in America by Sharmila Sen
After immigrating from India to America at 12, Sharmila spends her teen years working to integrate herself into American whiteness. As she grows, she begins to ask: what does it mean to be white? This book takes a deep dive into her journey and manifesto of self-discovery and recognition that being “[not-white] can be the very thing that makes us American.”
The debut novel by Helen Zia, an award-winning journalist, Asian American Dreams details the transformation of Asian Americans into a self-identified racial group. Zia examines the influence, both politically and socially, of Asian American communities in the U.S.
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays by Scaachi Koul
Scaachi Koul uses her humor in this debut collection of essays to discuss everything from internet trolls to grocery trips. Each story touches on the themes of living in America as a Woman of Color, and the gender rules that bind her in both Western and Indian culture.
The Making of Asian America – Erika Lee
Dr. Erika Lee, Director of the Immigration History Research Center at University of Minnesota, examines the deep-rooted history of Asian Americans in the United States. Written to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 in the U.S., The Making of Asian America delves into the complex history of race and immigration, and its impact on the world today.
Minor Feelings: An Asian America Reckoning – Cathy Park Hong
According to the author, “minor feelings occur when American optimism is forced upon you, which contradicts your own racialized reality, thereby creating a static of cognitive dissonance.” This book merges memoirs and cultural assessments to explore racial consciousness in the United States and examines what it means to be Asian American.
The Myth of the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism – Rosalind S. Chou
Sociologists Rosalind Chou and Joe Feagin examine how race, gender and sexuality intersect in the daily lives of Asian Americans. Through field interviews conducted across the U.S., the authors explore “racial stereotyping and discrimination faced by Asian Americans long viewed as the model minority.”
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
Told in graphic novel style, Mira Jacobs looks back on the conversations that shaped her understanding of race, color, sexuality, and love as she answers her six-year-old son Z’s questions.
Watch and Listen to these AAPI Heritage Month Documentaries, Interviews, and Podcasts
Washington Post reporter Michelle Ye Hee Lee speaks with actors and producers Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu on a live 30-minute conversation about the rise in hate crimes against Asian and Pacific Islanders in America. The Live focused on the history of the Asian diaspora and the effect of anti-Asian rhetoric, as well as how solutions are incredibly complex and nuanced.
Tanzina Vega discusses the devastating effects of COVID-19 on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities with Karthick Ramakrishnan, director of AAPI Data and professor at the University of California, Riverside, and Leezel Tanglao, multimedia journalist and project director of the Tayo Help Desk. The podcast touches on the direct and indirect effects of COVID, including how hateful anti-Asian rhetoric and the intersection of lack of immigrant protection impacted healthcare accessibility, along with conversations about vaccine equity, the disproportionate death toll, and more.
This feature length documentary is from Eugene Lee Yang of the Try Guys Internet group. The documentary takes a deep dive into the complex history of Asian Americans and the targeted anti-Asian hate that has permeated America’s history. The documentary discusses the uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes, and how hateful rhetoric has had a direct impact.
As Steven Wakabayashi shares, the podcast Yellow Glitter is all about “mindfulness through the eyes & soul of a gay Asian.” Steven also hosts support groups for queer Asians to talk through their experiences and connect with one another in a safe space, called Yellow Glitter Sparkles. You can learn more about attending a support group here.
Support and Get Involved with these AAPI Organizations
In 1998, AALEAD was founded to provide support for the Vietnamese refugee population in DC. Since then, it has grown to support all underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander youth in the District by providing education, leadership opportunities, mentorship, and summer programs.
This DC based organization provides support and services for Asian and Pacific Islander survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Through federal and local policy advocacy, partnerships, coalitions and communications, DC-Based SAALT works to effect racial justice through structural systemic change.
This Sikh American organization is based in both DC and LA. They use their values of “service, social justice, and an unshakeable belief in freedom and equality for all,” to effect change in policy and provide education.
This nation-wide group provides litigation, education, and advocacy for civil liberties and rights for Asian Americans. Their focus has been on “immigration rights, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, eliminating anti-Asian hate crimes, and police misconduct.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) advocates for civil and human rights for Asian Americans through “education, litigation, and public policy advocacy,” to build an America that is equitable for everyone.
For over 40 years, this nonprofit organization has shared the stories of Asian Americans in film, TV, and digital media. Their goal is to expose audiences to the richness and diversity of Asian American life through various voices and communities.
Where to Donate to Support India’s Battle with COVID-19
Oxfam India is focused on ensuring essential services, such as health and education, are provided to underserved children and families in India to aid in reducing intergenerational inequality.
Established with the goal of providing quality care and saving lives, over the past 15 months HelpNow has built the largest, wide-ranging network of private ambulances in Mumbai, India.
Making the Difference is a NGO that aims to serve underserved communities, with a focus on child development. Their mission is to reduce poverty thorough comprehensive projects in the fields of health, education, livelihood and disaster preparedness and response.
Founded by Ravinder Singh in 1999, this humanitarian relief charity provides support around the world to victims of natural and man-made disasters. From distributing food, water, clothing, medical and sanitation to supplies to building shelters, Khalsa Aid works to save lives, reduce people’s immediate suffering and help maintain the dignity of the communities they serve.
For more places to donate, visit this NY Mag Article “10 Places to Donate to Help India Amid the COVID Crisis.“