The theological reflection this month is: Eleven Reflections and Musings on Asian Americans, Native Hawai'ians, and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.—We're Here, Too.
Choose one or more of the following:
Book of the Month: Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas who was born in the Philippines (biography)
“America’s Real Migrant Crisis Is the One You’ve Never Heard Of” An obscure 30-year-old treaty has landed thousands of Micronesians in poverty and homelessness in Hawaii (article)
Japanese Internment Camps (website)
“Asian Americans Aren’t ‘Basically White” – Here Are 5 Ways Racism Hurts Us (article)
What kind of Asian are you? (2:18 min) In this video, Scott plays a friendly jogger who is very interested in guessing the heritage of Stella.
Asian Americans fight for equality: (19 min) The video explores the growth of the Asian American civil rights movement.
Mixed Race Asians (6:06) what they’ll never tell you.
Explore Na Maka o ka Aina, The Eyes of the Land Hawaiian documentary and educational videos
Interview with Erika Lee, author of The Making of Asian America (29 min)
Notice where in your life you encounter people of Asian descent. Are they treated with respect?
When you talk with your friends, notice comments about API Americans. Have you or your friend made an assumption about the traits or mindset of someone that is what influenced by the model minority myth or by assumptions involving gender or childrearing styles?
Notice cultural appropriations in the naming and styling of toys, foods, restaurants, entertainment, digital technology, etc.
Explore: A Different Asian American Timeline (website)
Check out the Iowa Asian Alliance website. You will find information about CelebrAsian (an annual event in Des Moines each May), donating, and their newsletter. Or visit the Cedar Rapids AsianFest, and aim to use this time as a way to move beyond enjoying colorful sights, music, and foods to gaining deeper understandings.
Read through the list of Asian ethnic organizations on the Iowa International Center website. Are there any near you that you can connect with to learn more?
What stood out to you the most?
How are you feeling?
What action will you take?
Who in your family/community may want to take action with you?
We have heard your call to justice and repentance, and we are responding. We resist temptations to look away, pretending not to hear. We perceive your mandate to move beyond regret or "I'm sorry" to the active work of undoing systems of racism, whether they function at the legal or economic level or in our hearts or minds.
Layer on layer, we learn and grieve: new understandings of how one group imposes control on another, of forms of aggression and denial, of how far our communities are from what they should be.
We are not looking away.
We are not pulling back.
We turn to you for help.
You are our God of judgment and our God of hope.
Do not excuse us from this work, but grant us courage to press on.
We do not give you rationalizations but our hearts eager for change and our hands ready to respond.
We turn away from "not my fault" to "ours to change."
Guide us forward, together, in this work.
Keep alive in us a flame of hope for justice for all races. Amen.