Strength in Solidarity: We’ve been there, too.

 

Often times, it can feel like the language of hate is deafening and isolating. It can make you feel like what makes you different is something to be ashamed of, or something that keeps you from connecting with others.

Act To Change wants you to find your voice, and seek strength in your community and your identity. We will host Strength in Solidarity: Building Communities of Kindness, an anti-bullying youth conference open to ages 14-18 and early college students, on Saturday, October 26, 9am-12:30pm, at the Teach for America Offices in Los Angeles. We aim to help students just like you find pride in your heritage and become leaders in your own communities! 

This event will remind you that you are not alone, and that hate arises out of a sense of fear and weakness. Through this event, Act To Change encourages you to celebrate your identity and listen to the stories of those who have experienced the same, or similar, situations.

Our keynote speaker will be actress Punam Patel from Netflix’s SPECIAL. Fresh Off the Boat actor Hudson Yang will join a panel of professionals in the arts, education, public service, and more, sharing their stories and advice around bullying. 

And there will be three workshops that you can choose from: (1) Identity in Political Leadership/Civic Engagement, (2) Expressing Identity through Creative Writing, (3) Expressing Identity through Art and Poetry.

All three workshops aim to help you fully own your identity, and be able to express it constructive ways!

We hope to ignite a passion that motivates you to foster a community of love that can effectively counter and overcome the hate that seems ever-present the current political climate. Know that you are capable of this change, and know that you can be the one to bridge gaps between differences. 

Register at http://bit.ly/ATCOct2019 and join us on October 26 to create a more inclusive climate that is welcoming to all identities. 

 

Thank you to our sponsor:

TFA Corps Members: Earn 4 DEI credits for attending!

Highlighting Bullying Prevention Efforts for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

Every day, kids of all ages experience bullying in schools across the country. In the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, this problem is often compounded by cultural, religious, and linguistic barriers that can make it harder for AAPI youth to seek and receive help. Anecdotal evidence has shown that certain AAPI groups – including South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Micronesian, LGBT, immigrant, and limited English proficient youth – are more likely to be the targets of bullying. And in some areas, bullying of AAPI students can be shockingly common.

To help address this problem, in November 2014, during the fifth anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the federal government formed an interagency AAPI Bullying Prevention Task Force (AAPI Task Force). The AAPI Task Force strives to learn more about the experiences of AAPI students facing bullying and how the federal government can help. The AAPI Task Force comprises representatives from the U.S. Department of Education, which includes the White House Initiative on AAPIs and the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and the U.S. Department of Justice. Through the AAPI Task Force, federal experts in civil rights, language access, education, community relations, public health, mental health, and data have worked closely with community stakeholders to:

  • Identify barriers to reporting bullying and harassment
  • Understand obstacles to full and equal access to remedial and support resources
  • Analyze data on bullying and harassment in the AAPI community
  • Improve the federal government’s outreach and resources

Today, during the fifth annual Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit, I’m proud to announce the release of a report highlighting the experiences of AAPI students facing bullying around the country. The Summit will convene federal officials and community members to discuss strategies to combat bullying particularly in high-risk populations, including Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian students.

Over the last two years, the AAPI Task Force conducted nationwide outreach to students, families, community members, advocacy groups, and community-based organizations. The AAPI Task Force hosted 29 listening sessions across the country, and conducted an informational survey that collected responses from 30 community-based organizations.

Through its outreach, the AAPI Task Force has gained key insights:

  • Students from all AAPI communities are subjected to bullying and harassment of all types.
  • AAPI students are bullied by a range of other students, including other AAPI students and students of other backgrounds.
  • Circumstances of bullying often include, but are not limited to: limited English proficiency, cultural stereotypes, national origin and immigrant generation, and religion and religious attire.
  • Many AAPI students and parents are not aware of resources and avenues of remediation available at the local, state, and federal levels.

The work of the AAPI Task Force has shed light on the important need to address bullying in the AAPI community and strategies to tailor outreach to this community. As we close out the AAPI Task Force’s work, let us recommit ourselves to continue working toward achieving real solutions to preventing and ending bullying for all.

Dour Thor is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, which is housed within the U.S. Department of Education. This post is cross-posted from the White House Blog.

U.S. Department of Education Release Joint Fact Sheet about Combatting Discrimination against Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) students

Cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights Newsroom

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Educational Opportunities Section, and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders issued a fact sheet that includes examples of forms of discrimination that members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) communities commonly face.

  • The fact sheet in English PDF and in other languages about combating discrimination against Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) students.