The world has changed. I find myself reminding people that we’re experiencing a once-in-a-century pandemic event. Right now, a little kindness and a little humanity, goes a long way. That’s why I’m writing you an email, personally.
Here at 18MR, we’ve been processing what this means for our work. As Executive Director, I’ve been thinking about how we keep our staff safe; what to do if someone on our small team gets seriously ill; how we prepare for caregiving and grieving. But, the most important thing I’m writing to tell you is: we’re not going anywhere.
Before the pandemic, we cultivated a practice of being together online, from offering you opportunities to take meaningful collective action, to connecting you to many of your peers whose art, writing, and organizing we love. At a time when we can so easily slip into isolation and hopelessness this kind of being together is more important than ever. We’re in this fight together. Whether you’re at home by yourself or working a critical frontline job, we see you.
Over the past year, I’ve been writing about political belonging as the glue that holds communities and movements together. Now, it’s time to lean even harder into cultivating the feeling of political belonging. I want to share some commitments we’ve created as we begin to respond to the global pandemic.
It is deeply necessary for Asian Americans to lead right now. The increase in targeted violence against members of our communities and xenophobic rhetoric that inflames that violence and threatens longer-term conflict abroad means that we must set the tone for the response. We also know that our cultural producers and workers are taking a hit. Many of them (many of you) have shown nothing but love and support for us. We’re getting plans in motion to help support more of our people as they try to make ends meet. Here are the commitments we’re making to our movements.
The biggest contribution 18MR can make is to live up to the commitments I’ve laid out here. I do this work because I believe in our profound capacity for transformation, both as individuals and as a society.
Keep checking on us to see what we’re up to. If there are things you think we should know about, don’t hesitate to reach out to us – via email, on social media, or wherever you find us.