INTERVIEWS

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Being black and asian means being abundant. I don’t use the words “half” or “quarter” or even “double” to describe myself and my heritage and my roots. I view myself as being all of that, and then some. In that my identity can’t be cut up into fractions, or itemized and logged, in the way that racialized science in the past has chosen to categorize human beings. So being black and asian, being human in the way that I am in my everyday, is to be abundant. (keep reading)

- Aisha Fukushima

Everything I read, everything I see, I have to translate for my parents. This changed the way I see information. If I see a magazine: can I translate this? If I cannot, then do I really understand it? We don’t always see bilingual skills as something that is important to our organizing. We always think knowing English well is important so that we can tell government folks how we feel, but when we go back to our communities can we tell them how we feel? (keep reading)

- Lin Lin

For me, solidarity means being there for me when I am in trouble. And that I would be there for you when you are in trouble. It is when your community comes to stand with my community when other people are causing harm to us. And when my community is willing to do the same for yours. It is about us coming together and fighting together against the harm. We don’t have to know each other, we just have to know that what is happening is wrong.
(keep reading)

- Anayi Jackson

For me access is about reclaiming our understanding of diversity. The term diversity has been commodified and used to flatten our identities, histories, and cultures into neat little boxes to be checked off and put on display as a token of progress. It serves a form of multiculturalism that obscures the vast complexity of life on this planet.  Part of the work of building intersectional movements is to propagate a very different understanding of the biological and cultural diversity of this planet. (keep reading) 

- Deseree Fontenot

Ultimately to me, the antagonisms between Black and Asian American communities are parts of White Supremacy that allow Whiteness to dominate without White people being present, or allow ideals of Whiteness to dominate without White people being present. Moments of solidarity are even more special because they are working to undermine this greater system of White Supremacy that folks are participating in whether or not they realize it. (keep reading)

- Lisa Doi

Through this interview series we invited five Black and/or Asian leaders from racial and environmental justice spaces to reflect on several topics that emerged through our solidarity workshop series. Our intention was to cultivate fertile grounds for discussion, discovery, and understanding. Some of the topics, include: abolition, racial violence and healing, indigenous land sovereignty, student-led organizing, accessibility, and more. 

INTERVIEWEES:

Aisha Fukushima (she/they) is an award-winning African American Japanese Performance Lecturer, Justice Strategist, Vocalist, Producer, and RAPtivist (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism), a global hip-hop project, and has had the joy of creatively collaborating with changemakers across 4 continents. https://aishafukushima.com/

Anayi Jackson is a 16 year old sophomore at Parkway Center City Middle College high school going for her Associates degree. She is an aspiring writer with the hopes of becoming a Journalist in the near future.

Deseree Fontenot

Lin Lin is a high school senior in Philadelphia, PA. They started the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Union to organize Asian students at their school.

Lisa Doi (she/her) is a community organizer with Tsuru for Solidarity, a national network of Japanese American progressives, and a PhD student in American Studies at Indiana University. These engagements help her blur the boundaries her academic and community work, so that they emerge as deeply interrelated efforts of remembrance and repair.

You can access full transcripts of the interviews here:
Aisha Fukushima
Anayi Jackson
Deseree Fontenot
Lin Lin
Lisa Doi