Check out CrazyQuiltEdi.blog for a resource-rich series titled I Read Asian and Pacific Islander American Books. Read Edi Campbell’s intro post here, and check back regularly, updates are coming fast!
For the entire month of May (and beyond), follow #31DaysIBPOC on Twitter, bookmark their website, and if you need an intro to #31DaysIBPOC, read Dr. Kimberly Parker’s article: May Means #31DaysIBPOC: Centering Indigenous, Black, and People of Color in Education in SLJ.
Dhonielle Clayton experienced horrifying racism and witnessed equally horrifying fatphobia from teens during an online author visit. Kelly Yang wrote in Elle about similar experiences, in the context of rising fear, racism, and xenophobia directed at Asian Americans (fueled by Trump) during COVID-19: Our Voice Is Our Armor. We send empathy and support to all.
We are all learning about both the possibilities and vulnerabilities inherent in using online conferencing tools. Because of unsettling incidences such as this, we now know that preparing ahead of time for such behavior is something we all must do if we are hosting an event. Outline respectful behavior expectations ahead of time. Make sure you are familiar with the platform you are using and know how to shut things down on the technology side if inappropriate remarks are made regardless. This includes knowing how to change settings so that all participants, other than the speakers and facilitators, are muted and cannot unmute themselves. Finally, it’s not enough for any of us to just condemn such behavior; we must engage in the work of helping students unlearn it. The “Resources” tab of Teaching While White is a great starting place for this work, as is #31DaysIBPOC.
Back in April, We Need Diverse Books launched an Emergency Fund for Diverse Creators in Children’s Publishing. Click through for more info, and to donate if you’re able.
Though we’ve featured it before, don’t forget to sign onto APALA’s pledge to fight the vicious racism being directed at Asian Americans right now.
Beyond Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Here are a few things we’ve been following; please feel free to add more in the comments.
Communities of color—particularly Black and Native communities—are being hit hardest by COVID-19 and its domino-effect fallouts. As devastatingly predictable as this pattern is, given the structural racism endemic to the United States, it is important to understand and expose the causes. We cannot list all resources on this topic here, but you can start with Indian Country Today’s COVID-19 Syllabus, this article from The Root about the disparities in the US healthcare system that COVID-19 is throwing into sharp relief, and this podcast from Slate about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities.
Sign the Color of Change petition demanding the removal of District Attorneys George Barnhill and Jackie Johnson, who tried to prevent #JusticeforAhmaud by letting Gregory and Travis McMichael get away with the murder in broad daylight of Ahmaud Arbery.
The Trump administration is trying to sneak a land-grab in while attention is hyper-focused on COVID-19. They've taken a huge step towards disestablishing the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s land, which will have very real, destructive impacts (as well as horrific historical reverberations). Find more info, as well as action steps, here.
Keep an eye on McGirt vs. Oklahoma, a case before the US Supreme Court that will determine whether a substantial portion of Oklahoma belongs to Native nations. Read Rebecca Nagle’s article about it in The Atlantic, or listen to her podcast with Crooked Media (This Land).
Be well, all.
Ed. 5/18: Please also check out this post from Zetta Elliott about fear, spiders, poetry, and Breonna Taylor, who was murdered by police. Thank you, Zetta, for saying her name.