We’re Still Here

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.

Our Commitments to Our Members - Striving to meet your needs where you’re at, whether you’re working a frontline job in your community, providing mutual aid in your neighborhood, caring for your elders, or sheltering in place.- Creating opportunities for togetherness and belonging that open new avenues for action. -Providing paths for effective, thoughtful collective action that impact the structural forces that shape our lives and the immediate material well-being of our communities. - Keeping tabs on what’s going on and filtering the bullshit from the perspectives you actually want to see or hear.

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.

Our Commitments to Our Movements - Powerful moral leadership that centers international and local solidarity to fight for a more human future through, and beyond, the pandemic. - Inspired, and inspiring, servant leadership to develop and share new best practices and technologies that allow us to build power. - Finding creative ways to resource critical voices in our community who depend on performances, gigs, and client or contract work to survive. - Lifting up innovation from the margins to give shine to the folks who are working with the least to solve the biggest problems. - Fighting together for big changes in the way we distribute resources to transform the challenges we’re facing today into something wonderful tomorrow.

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.

Active Campaigns

  • Graphic says "Asian Americans say no to Zionism and Islamophobia! - 70+ Asian American and allied organizations tell The Asian American Foundation: Drop Jonathan Greenblatt! The ADL is not an ally to Asian American communities, organizations, and movements."

    Say NO to Zionism and Islamophobia!

    Say NO to Zionism and Islamophobia! 70+ Asian American and allied organizations tell The Asian American Foundation: Drop Jonathan Greenblatt! The ADL is NOT AN ALLY to Asian American communities, organizations, and movements.
  • Duotone read and deep dark green image of protesters facing militarized police officers in the background. Main text reads: To District Attorney Jenkins: Drop the charges against the Bay Bridge 78! We are part of a long linesage of people who have used civil disobedience to help bend the arc of history towards justice - from the civil rights movement to the right against apartheid in South Africa. bit.ly/BayBridge78. 18MR's logo is on the bottom right corner.

    I was Arrested on the Bay Bridge

    I was arrested for demanding an end to genocide. We are part of a long lineage of people who have used civil disobedience to help bend the arc of history toward justice – from the Civil Rights Movement to the fight against apartheid in South Africa.  As a Filipino American organizer for racial justice, I’ve […]

    PARDON APSC4: Our beloved family APSC 4: Borey “Peejay” Ai, Nghiep “Ke” Lam, Chanthon Bun, and Maria Legarda are at risk of deportation. Tell Governor Newsom to pardon them NOW so they can remain home with their families and community. Here’s some things you can do!

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