Summer BINGO

A note: No blog post for the next two weeks. I’ll be back in July.

It is June and summer is kinda here — it rained hard in Seattle today. My friend Bao makes BINGO cards for each month. I thought I’d riff off of her idea and make one for Fakequity for summer. This BINGO board has different suggestions for things to do, experience, or learn about. My goal for this blog post is to help us explore and think differently about topics during the summer.

Since the graphic is not screen-reader friendly, the text from the squares are below. I’ve expanded on some of them to explain why they made the BINGO board.

Finally, I hope you have fun, relax, and enjoy summer. Reflecting back on the first six months, including the COVID omicron wave, atmospheric rivers of rain in the Pacific Northwest, or really hot and dry days in other parts of the country, the invasion of Ukraine, and too many mass shootings, we need to also reflect on the good and where we can learn and make an impact too.

BINGO Board Squares Text

Learn the Indigenous place name of where you are or where you will travel

Learn about Juneteenth – Don’t think of this as a holiday, learn about the history of Juneteenth and why it is important to Black and African Americans

Wear a mask while at a summer event – COVID is still a thing

Attend a summer POC festival/event online or IRL

Watch a film by a POC filmmaker – There are a ton of great films by POC filmmakers. A few suggestions: 13 by Ava Duvernay, Everything Everything All at Once – Michelle Yeoh is a badass in this multiverse film, as a family we’ve been revisiting the Hayao Miyazaki films, including watching a documentary on his films.

Get a COVID booster or take someone for a COVID booster – Protecting yourself from COVID protects the community, including POC communities

Read a book by a POC author – If you need suggestions, check out some previous Fakequity posts

Make a dish from your ethnic background, and research it – Connecting with your own heritage and culture is an important part of supporting POCs

Research a social justice topic from a POC perspective

Write to a policymaker telling about a topic you care about – Policy changes happen quicker when people advocate and share why they believe in a topic. Take a moment to share your thoughts with a policymaker.

You watch a gov’t meeting – learn more about how policy is made – Government meetings are often fascinating if you are interested in the topic. Find a meeting (many are recorded) and watch it to learn more about the topic. Learning how policies are made or adjudicated is an important part of influencing policy. Just today the January 6 – Insurrection hearing was held in Congress, watch that one if you need to learn about a topic.

You have a close encounter with COVID – Please continue to be COVID careful.

Donate blood / Help someone donate blood – Advocate for a diverse blood supply. In my city many of the blood drives are not held in diverse neighborhoods, I will be making an ask of the local blood bank to host blood drives in my neighborhood where there are many more POCs. The FDA (and blood banks) should eliminate the ban on men who have sex with other men. It is discriminatory.

Register to vote for the August primary – if you’re registered remind someone else to register

Drink water – Give thanks for that clean water. Clean water is not something everyone has access to. — Learn about access to clean water, especially as it relates to POC communities. Think about Native Americans – Standing Rock protest, reservations without clean water, lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, or the water contamination by the US Navy in Hawaii.

You congratulate a graduate – Find a graduate and congratulate them on growing their minds and hearts. Preschool, kindergarten, high school, college, or beyond, or maybe a graduate of something else, we all deserve congrats when we accomplish something great.

Reflect on what you appreciate from the past six months – What from the past six months do you want to keep, what do you want to release, what can you do to be a better ally to POCs?

Support a POC farmer – Buy fresh produce, flowers, or other products from small POC farmers. BONUS – learn more about POC food sovereignty.

Your Choice 1 – Have fun!

Your Choice 2 – Share what you’re doing with someone else.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christina S, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Daniellex2, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Genita, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Jordan L., Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, LA Progressive, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, MaeganMaggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nicole, Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Sharon, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Tim, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.

I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander books

Picture of palm tree silhouette at sunset. Photo by Thomas on Pexels.com

I meant to write this post last week to wrap up Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but the shooting in Texas and needing to reflect on that took precedent. To wrap up an extended AANHPI heritage month, let’s talk about our Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander relations.

Asian Americans Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are often grouped together. While there is strength in numbers we must remember Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders need their own justices and visibility to bring these justices forward. When we are grouped together Asian Americans often overshadow their unique contributions and stories.

A few years ago, a large Asian American Pacific Islander organization asked if I would promote their book club. When I reviewed the material the list had amazing Asian authors lined up to speak, but no Pacific Islanders that I could tell. I wrote back to explicitly ask if any of the authors identified as Pacific Islanders and they gave me a weak runaround answer. I declined to share their material. The following year another intern from the same organiztaion reached out with the same request and once again the list appeared devoid of Pacific Islander authors. The poor intern got a crash course on inclusion, and was probably thinking “I’m just doing as I’m told…” I was disappointed this large organization with influence and reach did not do their homework around including Pacific Islanders. If you have Pacific Islander in your name or mission, then do your work and include authentic Pacific Islander representation. I’m pretty sure I won’t get an invitation to this organization’s swanky black-tie event – boo for me. Others have made similar Asian and Pacific Islander lists and forgotten, overlooked, skipped, or ignored including Pacific Islanders.

Here is a short list of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander authors. I’ve read some of these books and others have been recommended to me by friends that have read them.

Where We Once Belonged by Sia Figiel (Samoan) – A friend raved about this book for its coming of age story and how relatable it is for those with connections to the Pacific Islands’ way of life.

Song of Exile by Kiana Davenport (Native Hawaiian) – Davenport is well known for her book Shark Dialogue. In this book, Davenport writes a tale (fiction) through key moments of Hawaiian history.

Maori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood by Witi Ihimaera (Maori) has an expansive resume and career. His other well-known book and subsequent movie Whale Rider has brought the Pacific Islands to a broader audience.

From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii Revised Edition by Haunani Kay-Trask (Native Hawaiian) – The author is well-known and was her activism and teachings have shaped Hawaii and the broader region. This collection of essays shares her thoughts on Native Hawaiian rights and other topics.

We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang (Asian and Native Hawaiian) – This book isn’t about the author’s Native Hawaiian experience. I’m including it because the author is Native Hawaiian AND Asian AND an expert on race. His other book on culture is amazing too. I once heard him speak at a conference and was blown away at how he was the only presenter to infuse pop-culture references (i.e. Beyonce’s Lemonade vid) into his presentation.

IEP Jaltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter by Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner (Marshallese) is a book of poetry I found on the shelf of the Seattle Public Library. I’m glad I picked it up. The poet covers everything from her island used for nuclear testing to being on a Pacific Island and reading Little House on the Prairie.

I hope this list gives you a start to being more inclusive of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander authors and books in your reading rotation. I hope to see more Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander writers included in book lists when the heading says API/AAPI/AANHPI – do the work and be inclusive.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christina S, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Daniellex2, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Genita, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Jordan L., Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, LA Progressive, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, MaeganMaggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nicole, Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Sharon, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Tim, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.

I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.

Creating a Culture of Care

Artwork by Koy Suntichotinun from Amplifer Art. ACT! Fear Has No Place In Our Schools! People on a megaphone.

A POC friend shared with me a thought that has been rolling around in my brain since I heard it. She said, paraphrasing, “Erin, when I am in a relationship with someone and I care for them, I deeply care.” She isn’t talking about a romantic or familial relationship, she meant a relationship between friends, colleagues, and community members. As we come out of a week, month, year of extreme violence we need to return to a culture of caring for others.

Today, I had a conversation with an experienced Latino educator. He’s taught in middle and high schools, and has family members who are educators across the country. Over tea, he quietly said he is afraid of the violence that he is starting to see return. He shared how in the past he saw kids start gangs right in front of him, and he doesn’t want to see that happen again.

Creating Belonging and Care

COVID life, repeated violence against communities of color, economic inequality, and personal and community stress has strained many communities and people. In the early days of COVID we saw and participated in amazing acts of community care and resilience. Much of this is still continuing; out of the COVID disruptions came new ways of taking care of people. And we know there are still people who are not connected or feel like they belong.

The recent wave of violence against the Black community in Buffalo, the shooting of Koreans in Dallas, and now a school shooting impacting the Latino community in Uvalde, TX is reinforcing that we need to acknowledge the brokenness and care for others – including people who are not like us.

Caring for others means doing the deeper work. My friend shared with me that when she cares for someone she invests in the relationship. She works and expects the other person to build trust back, this is part of her personal and racial value system. Racialized trust can be difficult to navigate, but when we care deeply, we can get through it.

Who Belongs

A friend reminded me of the song Fast Cars by Tracy Chapman, she played it at her wedding — “And I had a feeling that I belonged, I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone.” Everyone wants to feel this.

Belonging is simple and hard to cultivate. When we create spaces where people belong, it often means we have to exclude some. This is a hard juxtaposition to come to grasp with since it antithetical to belonging. Yet we can create spaces where people belong AND we can help to cultivate spaces where everyone feels belonging. The notion of sharing, not resource hoarding, and seeing ourselves as part of a broader community that cares deeply and mutually for each other is called for.

Here is a practical example. At my kid’s school, there is a strong Chinese immigrant community, Latino immigrant community, and a Black community. I want these communities to thrive. Their thriving does not take away from my feeling of a sense of belonging to the school community. They deserve their space to be comfortable without having to accommodate outside needs. Racial equity also allows for these groups to have different resources when they need it – some of these groups may need money to accomplish projects, others relational capital, and others time together. While many of us in dominant positions may feel FOMO of wanting to belong to their groups, we shouldn’t – this isn’t about us.

We also need to create belonging in ways where those who are traditionally left out can find their own belonging. Sometimes this means getting out of their way, other times it is supporting the effort, and sometimes it is helping to cultivate the space. Being specific is important to allow this to happen.

We all need to belong to someone and something beyond ourselves. Let’s create that space for each other while caring deeply.

Our broken hallelujahs may be the thing that heals us.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christina S, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Daniellex2, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Jordan L., Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, LA Progressive, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, MaeganMaggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nicole, Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Sharon, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Tim, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.

I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.

Who is Seen as American

REBIRTH – Valarie Kaur, by Shepard Fairey. Art from Amplifier Art

I’ve been following the news stories about the Buffalo, NY shooting. It is beyond heartbreaking and wrong. This post isn’t about the shooting or an analysis of it; others much smarter than I have written about it. In listening to podcasts and reading the news about the motives behind the shooting, specifically the racist “replacement theory,” made me think about, who gets to be an American and who is seen as American. If you are outside of the US, replace American with your home country – Canada, Australia, China, Mexico, South Africa, etc.

“Coming to America”

Several years ago, I was invited to share my family’s migration story to the US at a fundraiser. It was a lighthearted event, as a board member for Neighborhood House. I was happy to share my story and why it connected to their services. My brother saw a picture of the event and quipped “Was that your ‘Coming to America’ presentation?”

The highlights of my migration story, aka Coming to America piece, are I’m third- or fourth-generation Japanese American depending on how you count. The exact details of some of my ancestor’s arrival in the US are lost or buried in archives. A reasonable assumption is it had to do with economics and probably pineapples or sugar cane crops – both were big industries in Hawaii.  

Being third or fourth generation means I am thoroughly American. I was born in the US, educated in US politics and history, my frames of references and thinking are engrained in Americanism. Yet I know depending on whom and where I am people do not automatically or see as American. They first see an Asian person and then judge how much belonging they are willing to afford me.

A few years ago, I was talking to a colleague. He shared his family immigrated to the US during WWII. They were fleeing Europe and persecution there. As he shared his story I had I flash of recognition that even though I am younger than him, generationally my family has been here longer. As an older white cis male, he is seen as more American and never/rarely questioned about his place here.

Who is Seen As American

The targeting of Black people in the Buffalo shooting, attacks on Asians, the fixation on immigration on the Mexico border, and other small daily acts of racism reinforce the notion of who is American. It is rarely white people who are questioned en masse about their place in the country. As an example, Ukrainian refugees are granted permission to enter the country because of the violence in Ukraine. Yet refugees from other countries, primarily Black and Brown people, are rarely afforded the same blanket permissions. Most recently we saw this in Afghanistan during the US withdrawal of forces and the chaos that ensued as people raced and begged to be evacuated. We need to see Black and Brown people as belonging to the fabric of America.

The American Dream

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said in a eulogy on the death of four Black children: “They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream.”

I want to believe the American dream belongs to all of us – Black, Indigenous, Brown people – included. In order for this to happen individuals must question the system, the ways of life, and philosophies that question who is American, who belongs, and rewrite those narratives. Americanism is not a static notion, it belongs to all of us and we can claim it and rewrite the defintion.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christina S, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Daniellex2, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Jordan L., Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, LA Progressive, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, MaeganMaggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nicole, Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Tim, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.

I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Month Reading

It is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Please note the month is not called Asian Pacific Islander month or API or AAPI. The extended name brings more recognition and value to Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. While there are many shared bonds between Asians, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, we cannot lump ourselves together and know we are equal. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders deserve recognition and the support of Asian and other communities.

Since it is AA/NHPI month I will share some of my favorite books by Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders. You can start to prep your summer reading list and for those of you who play Seattle Public Library and Seattle Arts & Lectures Summer Book BINGO this post is especially for you.

I aim to include authors of many different ethnicities. Some of these are books I’ve shared in other posts, but resharing them because they are wonderful and deserve to be read.

Children’s books

Tu Youyou’s Discovery Finding a Cure for Malaria – I just read this today and learned more about how a Chinese scientist, Tu Youyou, took Chinese herbal medicine, combined it with Western medicine and found a treatment for malaria. Her contribution to medicine has saved over 6.8-million people. This is a good non-fiction biography for elementary school kids.  

A Map Into the World – This is such a tender book to share with children who need reassurance that change is scary, but they can also anchor onto something known. It is by Hmong author Kao Kalia Yang. Make sure to check out her other books too, many of them are favorites.

Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon – Fauja Singh, a Sikh from Punjab, is a lonely elder, then discovers running as his passion in his 80s. He went on to become the first centenarian to complete a marathon.

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea – This is the book I recommend when people tell me they like the Julian is a Mermaid books, no thanks to cultural appropriation in those books. From the Stars is written by a trans-Asian who is also a performing artist and psychotherapist. The story allows for wonderful conversations about identity and self-identity.

Yasmin series – This is one of my favorite beginning readers. Yasmin is a second-grade Pakistani American who shares her life with readers. Read all of her adventures.

Ohana Means Family – Sharing Native Hawaiian culture and lessons through the story of community in verse. “This is the land that’s never been sold, where work the hands, so wise and old, that reach through the water, clear and cold, into the mud to pick the taro to make the poi for our ohana’s luau.” This is a delightful read-aloud book.

Graphic Novels and Short Stories

Superman Smashes the Klan – This fictionalized retelling of WWII American history is a great way to talk about anti-Asian racism during WWII and now.

Where’s Halmoni – My friend Heidi gave this book to my kid for Christmas several years ago. It is still a favorite. Two children go looking for their Korean grandma and take wild adventure to find her.

The Best We Could Do – Recounts Thi Bui’s family’s journey out of war-time Vietnam. Part memoir, part-love story to her child, and part healing journey as she gathers her mother’s painful past of escaping Vietnam and rebuilding a life in a new country.

Prince and the Dressmaker – My kid came home from school INSISTING I read this book. I’m glad I did. It is a quick read about how a peasant becomes the dressmaker to a prince who has a secret. The book is also available in Korean, hooray for translations!

Māui Tonga Tales is a collection of short stories from across the Pacific Islands. I borrowed this right before COVID and enjoyed having it for quite a while when the library was closed. This gave me a looooong time to read and re-read the stories in it, and dream of the Pacific Islands.

Adult Books

Goodbye Vitamin is a quick read about a young Asian American who has to go home and pickup the pieces of her aging father’s life. Part humorous, part sad, part adulting.

How to Hold Animals is not really an adult reading book, but ehh we should all enjoy this book. It is exactly what the title says, a book on how to hold different animals safely. The author is a zookeeper in Japan and has photographed how to hold different animals.

Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong is coming out in the fall of 2022. I’m adding it to the list so you can look forward to it, and in the meantime check out her other book Disability Visibility.

Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change by Seattle author Angela Garbes just came out. It is a timely book exploring how COVID shakeup forced society to grapple with motherhood and caregiving. I haven’t read it yet, but looking forward to digging into it. Hat-tip Brooke for sharing the title. Make sure to read Garbes’ previous book Like a Mother.

The Korean Vegan Cookbook – Every good book list should include a cookbook. I aspire to eat more vegan food and this book is helping me find that inspiration. The pictures are art, the recipes look delicious and simple enough to make. I need to borrow it again from the library to really try a few of the recipes.

Happy reading AA/NHPI month! There are so many good Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander books out there. Make sure to read them and share them with others.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christina S, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Daniellex2, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, LA Progressive, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, MaeganMaggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nicole, Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Tim, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.

I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.

Outsiders and Belonging

May is Asian and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander heritage month. Use this month to learn and reflect on Asians and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in your community.

Street art mural: girl with outstrtched hand reaching for a red heart shaped balloon, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!” Art found online, unknown creator

Earlier this week I was listening to a panel of educators talk about family engagement and what they had done at their school to transform it. I know the insides and outsides of their story and knew how hard they had hustled to create systems to take care of their families during COVID and continued that even now. One of the speakers from the school’s Black Family Council talked about how he built relationships with the families. He also shared his personal story of growing up in different places and how his job took him around the world before landing in Seattle. As I was listening to him speak, I had the spark of realization one of the commonalities of people I enjoy are they understand what it is like to be an outsider AND they use their positions or power to create belonging with others.

Outsider status

At some point in everyone’s life they have most likely experienced being an outsider. Maybe these moments are because of a core part of who you are: being the only POC in a predominately white community growing up, or being the only Muslim in school for your entire childhood, being an immigrant and not understanding the dominant language, being left out because of a disability, being held back for some reason.

There are also little moments where we’ve been the outsider – starting at a new school or job, taking your kid to join a sports team and realizing you don’t know any of the other parents, or moving to a new neighborhood.

These moments as an outsider shape us. The loneliness and feeling of not knowing are hard and create feelings that are foreign and unpleasant. These feelings are important. Humans are wired to want connections and to seek safety by being with others. Historically being alone was dangerous – predators could find you, you’d be less likely to stay warm, knowledge wasn’t passed to people who were alone – being alone wasn’t as safe as being with others.

Yet these moments of feeling like an outsider are important to shaping our work in building community and trust.

Using Personal Power to Create Community

My favorite people understand and remember what it was like to be an outsider. Some even embraced that time in their lives as being an outsider, and now use that time to create belonging among others. They remembered what it felt like to be an outsider because of a core part of who they were. The feeling of being othered shaped who they are and they now work to create spaces where that feeling is lessen.

Creating a sense of belonging is a learned skill. While we are innately drawn to being with others, being together does not come seamlessly. When I facilitate, I try to remember the purpose of the gathering. It is easy to fall into patterns or formulas of our time together, but it is important to get back to the core reason of creating connections. For me many times the purpose is to build relationships between POCs and decision-makers. While anyone is welcome to attend my first priority is to create a space welcoming and comfortable for POCs. Second priority is to share information and build connections with others.

My colleague and friend from the Black Family Council shared with the group how he creates belonging among the families he works with. He intentionally asks and listens. He asked the families when and how they want to be communicated with AND he follows through on this. Many of the families he works with asked to be contacted on the weekend when they had time to talk not when they were rushing home from work or preparing dinner for young kids.

Another friend, a Black young man, talked about how a misunderstanding over a food delivery with an Asian elder immigrant led to upset feelings but very little way for the two to communicate through the situation. The following week my friend made sure he delivered food to the Asian elder. While they can’t communicate through words, they both have created a sense of belonging to each other through these actions.

A friend who works in disability justice reminds me inclusion isn’t just about physical inclusion (e.g. wheelchair ramps, elevators) or access to a meeting (e.g. interpretation, online access), it is about feeling included as whole people.

Challenge – Be an Outsider

After I had this realization about outside and insider power and inclusion, I had a thought about how I need to challenge myself to be an outsider more. I’ve grown comfortable in being with people who I like and are easy to be with. My challenge now is to be an outsider at times and remember that feeling so I can bring it back and create more belonging among people who need that space and comfort. I need to start accepting invitations where I am not in the majority, where I know few people. It is ok to be uncomfortable growth comes through stumbling forward (another lesson from a wise friend).

Creating belonging also means understanding what it means to be on the outside. The last thing we should do is create clubs that exclude when we mean to create belonging of people who are constantly on the outside.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Daniellex2, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, LA Progressive, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, Maegan, Maggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nicole, Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.

I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.

What Would You Do with $44b?

Happy almost Eid. Eid is next week May 2 for many, although some celebrate on May 3 – check with your local Muslim communities to find out when they will celebrate.

Saturday, 30 April is the last day to order flowers from the Friendly Hmong Farms Mother’s day/may flower sale. This is a fundraiser for Seattle schools and Title 1 schools. Get your orders in now.


Image of instant cup noodle ramen with a lobster in it. Text “I wouldn’t tell anyone I won the lottery but there will be hints.” h/t B.N. for the image. I did not win the lottery, this isn’t a hint.

A friend posed this question after headlines that Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44-billion. Around the same time, I listened to a NY Times podcast, The Daily, talking about billionaires. Through the podcast, the reporter tried to make sense of how much a billion really is. Listening to the explanation I realized I can’t fathom that much net-worth sitting with one person. Props to Mona Chalabi for illustrating Jeff Bezos’ billions in wealth. I had that conversation with my kids tonight. At a certain point having more money doesn’t really make a difference – having 1 car or 100 cars – I can’t drive more than one at a time. More money can buy better tasting food, but my body can’t eat unlimited quantities of dessert and stay healthy.

So here is a hypothetical question, I’m assuming none of my readers has $44-billion in wealth. If you do have $44-billion, let’s talk – I’m super curious who you are (please email me) and how you found Fakequity, and more importantly, let’s put that $44-billion to work.

What would you do with $44-billion?

Here are some of my ideas to advance social justice, work to eliminate racism, and advance justice for Black, Indigenous, Latine/o/a, Middle Eastern, and Asians with that type of wealth. All of these are top of mind. I know philanthropy and racial justice work is very nuanced, but sometimes we just need to start with ideas and dream a little.

  • I’d give away $42 billion, and still be rich.
  • Fund research and healthy practices led by Black communities to end Black infant mortality. Same for Indigenous communities.
  • Support Native communities to install clean drinking water and sewer systems in EVERY Native community that needs or wants this.
  • Bring internet access to everyone. This isn’t just a rural problem, teachers in my urban neighborhood tell me they have students who still don’t have internet access for multiple reasons (e.g. cost, landlords saying no, no access in their building, etc.).
  • Fund independent POC owned and embedded journalism.
  • Buy or create a publishing house that prints only POC authored books. Then give those books away cause that is what $44-billion can do. I’d expect the publisher to authors and illustrators of color, POC authors with disabilities, POC LGBTQ, POC immigrants, etc. and invest in their development as professional writers and illustrators.
  • Fund POC led housing work led and embedded by POCs.
  • Fund POC farmers who farm in environmentally friendly ways.
  • Save and restore rainforests and return them to their Indigenous people. Fund Indigenous communities to preserve their land and Indigenous practices.
  • Fund organizations supporting POC candidates for races that are often overlooked – school boards, assessors, auditors, medical examiners, district attorneys, etc. Why these offices? They are often overlooked and these offices can be stepping stones to higher offices. These offices often influence important parts of systems reforms for POCs.
  • Seed a disability justice led foundation to make grants to advance disability justice for people of color. Hat-tip to Laura and Carrie for this idea – I hope you get a billion to start it.
  • Fund scholarships for students who are also front-line low-income workers. Much of private wealth is made on the backs of front-line low-income workers (e.g. grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, sanitation workers, etc.). Also fund their childcare, medical, housing, etc. cost so a degree is attainable.
  • Fund Black and Indigenous led organizations working on prison and justice reforms. Why Black led– we need to acknowledge the racial imbalance of who is in prisons.
  • Work with municipal government, universities, researchers, etc. to implement across-the-board/mandatory child development awareness training – this is a long-time idea I’ve been marinating on. We need society to understand child development, including from a racial justice perspective. When we understand child, youth, and human development we can relate better to people. Imagine how different policing, schools, hospitals, etc. would feel like if we understood appropriate child and youth development. (If you do this please let me know how it goes, I’d love to learn about it.) 
  • Fund efforts around income tax and wealth taxes so it will be harder for people to accumulate so much wealth, thus redistributing it more fairly back into community accountable systems. While this may sound race neutral it isn’t. Tax justice is racial justice since it is often white people that accumulate wealth and taxes are a way to redistribute that wealth to Black and Brown people.
  • Fund efforts around universal basic income and restoring the child tax-credit, and other progressive tax efforts. Same as above, POCs benefit greatly with these efforts. The child tax credit helped to create a more level playing field for many children.

And just for fun, I’d buy myself the most expensive ring Costco has on their website, a $349,000 ring. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry but something about ordering the most expensive ring from Costco sounds ridiculous. I wonder if I could convince Costco to throw in a $1.50 hot dog and soda, or a $5.00 rotisserie chicken too?

These are just some starter ideas on how to use $44-billion versus deciding one person wants to buy Twitter. These are all oversimplified and in jest, but with some serious edges to them. What ideas do you have? I’d love to know how you would invest funds to support racial justice.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, Maggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nicole, Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.

I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.

Nonprofit Board Diversity

Stock photo of people pretending to meet and work. Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

I’m heading into dangerous territory by blogging about a topic that is well covered by others, so forgive me if this isn’t new to you. The reason I’m writing about board diversity is it is STILL A PROBLEM and because a friend messaged to ask me about the topic. For this blog, I’ll be writing about nonprofit boards, not elected or corporate boards – both of which also have a lack of people of color serving on them but that is for someone else to write about.

There is a lot of research done about how many nonprofit boards are not diverse, nor representative of the communities they serve. BoardSource research shows that while boards are becoming more diverse they are still very white, in their research pool 78% of board members were white, 83% of board chairs identified as white. When asked if the board composition aligns with the population served by the nonprofit 29% of board chairs said no, and 38% chief executives replied no. This is troubling since these top two leadership positions guide our nonprofits. The report has a lot more data and helpful suggestions for remedying the problems.

We gotta look at history

To understand the problem of why we don’t have diverse boards, let’s take a very quick look at how we got here. The nonprofit sector and nonprofit industry grew out of many white institutional frameworks – missionaries, churches, service leagues. These roots came with paternalistic (white male) models of service and community building. Many of those being served by these institutions were not seen as worthy of self-determination or leadership roles.

On the flip side, many communities of color and informal networks self-organized, but did so outside of the nonprofit network/industry. These mutual aid networks figured out how to support each other, it was a matter of survival. Aunties and uncles and other informal leaders can be found helping and building their communities up. I mention this to prove there is diverse leadership; it may look different but it is there. I mention this so we recognize there is POC leadership out there.

How to Fix the Problem

Understanding the history is important to understanding how we fix the problem. Many nonprofit boards are mini-clubs. If you look at a board and start mapping out the relationships you can see how people joined the board – people know people, current board members nominate others to fill seats, we recruit from places we know like the universities we’re connected to, the businesses we frequent, etc. The problem with this closed network is when we allow it to stay closed we don’t get the diversity we need to be representative of those we serve. Acknowledging this club aspect to boards is important to fixing the problem.

Here are some suggestions for diversifying your board:

Count – Track your board demographics. Boards should keep a matrix tracking board diversity on multiple-fronts important to your mission and services. Such as tracking race and ethnicity, disability status, residency (especially for place based organizations), occupation alignment (e.g. education policy orgs would benefit from having educators on the board), gender including non-binary, LGBTQ, etc. Tracking and counting will give your board a baseline understanding of who is on your board and where there are holes. When board members join is a good time to have them self-identify how they want to be represented on the board matrix.

Practice and Policies – One of the best boards I served on had policies in place on how representatives their board needed to be. This organization received a lot of federal grant money which dictated the board composition, cumbersome, but these policies led to great results. The requirements included having 1/3 of the board from the community (e.g. residents, clients, nonprofit service partners, etc.), 1/3 elected officials or their appointees – while this sounds weird, it really worked to keep the board geographically representative of the organization’s service area, 1/3 at-large – a lot of corporate representatives and other fundraising heft were placed in this category. There were also requirements to have certain professionals on the board – an accounting expert, a lawyer, a child development expert, and someone with lived experience of homelessness. It was mind-boggling every month to figure out if the board was in compliance with the policy requirements. Having left that board and serving on other boards I now appreciate how the policy requirements kept the board grounded in the mission and services of the organization.

Your board composition policies do not have to be this prescriptive, but having some practices or policies to guide board recruitment is helpful.

Recruitment – My friend who prompted this blog post told me briefly about her experience on a board. She is the only POC on her board. The board voted on two new board members who were both white. My friend voted no to both candidates; she was out voted. She wasn’t surprised by this but it was still infuriating.

If you want to diversify your board, YOU NEED POC CANDIDATES. It is that simple. Don’t invite more white people to join the board. It isn’t hard – if you want diversity look for it, going back to the point about boards being clubs, if you want to bring on people of color. Stop asking white people for recommendations of who should join the board, or if you do ask white people be very specific that you need candidates of color.

POCs Leverage Your Power – POCs this one is for you. Leverage your board seat, your voice, and power – it won’t always be easy, but your presence makes a difference. For one board I was recruited on I knew the board was bringing me on because they needed POC diversity. I appreciated their honesty, and I was honest with them back. I told them I would join on the condition that within a year the board needed to have at least two more POC board members. I did not want to be the token POC. It worked and the board diversified.

Board diversity is important and there is a lot more written about it. Check out Vu’s blog NonprofitAf.com, Rhea Wong’s Nonprofit Lowdown podcast, follow disability rights activist – guest blogger Carrie offers several in this blog post.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, Maggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nicole, Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.

I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Quinault, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.

Supreme Court Diversity

FriendlyHmongFarms.com Mother’s Day flower flier

I want to highlight a very cool fundraiser. Friendly Hmong Farms is hosting a Mother’s Day flower sale (however you define mother or just order spring flowers for yourself). It is a win-win-win. The sale benefits Seattle Public Schools, a match will go to a Title 1 (high poverty school), and it supports POC farmers. This is their biggest flower selling weekend of the season; the pre-sales will give them a boost. If you’re not in Seattle and want to support you can order flowers on the website and have them donated or contact fakequity@gmail.com and I’ll help you figure out a way to support the fundraiser.


Image of the 115 justices showing mostly white men. Art by @dreasdoodles

Last week Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the highest court in the United States – the US Supreme Court. This is important and monumental. Many have said her presence in the room will change conversations and it will. The court for too long and still is too white. Out of the 115 justices in the over 200-year history, all but seven have been white men, only three have been people of color – Justices Thurgood Marshall (African American/Black), Clarence Thomas (African American/Black), and Sonia Sotomayor (Latina). None have been LGBTQ. While many point to the women on the court being revolutionary, and it was, gender diversity is not the same as racial diversity.

Image showing experiences of current Supreme Court Justices. From https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/interactive/2022/ketanji-brown-jackson-school-career/

This image by the Washington Post also highlights how insular the experiences of the justices are. All but Justice Barrett graduated from an Ivy League law school, most clerked in the Supreme Court, and all but Justice Kagan served on the Court of Appeals. These are prestigious and noteworthy, but we should also question if having such similar experiences is what the court needs. Does it lead to groupthink or shortcuts in understanding versus interrogating to understand and interrogating to believe something to be true?

There has never been an Asian, Native American, or Pacific Islander represented on the courts, nor have these racial groups been nominated or seriously considered for a Supreme Court seat. White people are overrepresented on the court. We need a Black woman AND we need an Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander on the court.

I remember when I first read an op-ed in the local NW Asian Weekly by publisher Assunta Ng arguing that an Asian, I scoffed and thought it was a preposterous idea. I now cringe remembering that was my first reaction. An Asian should be on the court. There are many cases the court considers having direct impacts on the Asian community – college admissions, immigration, employment and discrimination, access to health care, etc. Court cases brought by Asian Americans have reshaped America and they will continue to do so since we are a vital part of the American population.

The same can be said for Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. Native Americans and Indigenous people have been systemically disenfranchised by the US government since the illegal takeover of their land. Pacific Islanders to have not had equal representation in government even though their island nations often feel the brunt of the US decisions militarily, climate change, and underinvestment of resources. These two race groups have smaller populations and some of the highest disparities. Having justices on the court who understand AND have lived these experiences would change the conversation and possible outcomes for people of color.

As the court diversifies some will say people of color are taking seats away from white people who earned the right to be on the court. Increasing racial diversity of the court will scare some, including people who proclaim to be allies and progressives. Adding more people of color to the Supreme Court is not taking away from white people. Increasing diversity will enhance the Court’s ability to be relevant and meaningful to Americans.

The Supreme Court by design is the weakest of the three bodies of the US government. The Courts do not have the power of the military or the budget. – Federalist No 78. “has no influence over either the sword or the purse; …  It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; ….” It is also the smallest therefore its power comes from being in good-standing and respected by the American citizenry (meant broadly not just the technical definition). If the Supreme Court is to be relevant and have relevancy the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch should seek to ensure it is truly diverse. As I write this, I know many will work to prevent this diversity from happening, but hopefully, with enough foresight and planning, we can work to make it happen. Diversity doesn’t happen by accident it is often intentional and needs to be sustained over time – a strong democracy depends on it.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, Maggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nicole, Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.

I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Quinault, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.

No photo description available.

Spring Cleaning Fakequity’s Checklist

Asian woman with hair tied up in a bun standing in a kitchen wearing a green apron and washing a cutting board. Background has a retro styled teal microwave and houseplants. Photo by Annushka Ahuja on Pexels.com

Today we saw the first Black woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson, confirmed and headed to the US Supreme Court. I look forward to reading her dissents and hopefully in the future she will be in the majority opinion of the court. And Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim relations.


The weather is warming, but still unpredictable. In Seattle, the weather was in the 70s today, but tomorrow thunderstorms, and possibly snow in a few days — that is spring in Seattle. During those rainy and cold days use the time to do a little Fakequity style spring cleaning.

  1. Clean out your closet of anything that might be culturally appropriated wear. Do you have Native American-inspired clothes from Forever 21? Trash it, don’t even donate it. Turn those into dust cleaning rags. Any Asian-inspired wear, such as Ninja or Geisha costumes? Trash those too.
  2. Clean your bookshelf. Seriously dust off those books you’ve been meaning to read and read them or share them with others. For books that are outdated or we now have better options, cull them from your collection. Examples: Little House on the Prairie, the portrayal of Native Americans is insensitive and racist, instead read the Birchbark House series. Harry Potter, while beloved by many J.K. Rowlings has said many derogatory and transphobic comments.
  3. Grab that stack of magazines, including the ones from cool POC publications and either read them, recycle them, or share forward. If you’re into art, make something with those, like these paper art by African American/Black artist Vashti Harrison. I made these with my kid and we periodically revisit the activity.
  4. Clear out your email. Unsubscribe from organizational emails that are not aligned with your values. This will make room for organizations led by and embedded in communities to be highlighted more.
  5. Spring clean your social media feeds. Unfollow people, organizations, celebrities who are racist, or low-key micro-aggressive. There is no need for those in your social media life.
  6. Reevaluate your news, podcast, and media content. Is it working for you and giving you diverse perspectives from people of color, people with disabilities, and communities of color? If no, unsubscribe from those who are too white and replace them with diverse media.
  7. Kitchen and refrigerator. Clear out the old condiment and seasonings from that one time you needed a special ingredient to make that one “ethnic” dish (every dish is ethnic in some way). If the condiments are still good, make the dish again – no sense wasting good food. If you are cleaning out old food, please don’t donate expired food to food banks. It is a waste of your gas and staff or volunteers time to evaluate and toss the expired food. People receiving the food, they don’t want your expired canned goods or expired Costco purchases.
  8. Wash those reusable bags you take to the market. Washing them will mean they are ready for the farmer’s markets where you can choose to invest in POC farmers. You don’t want to put their pretty produce into grubby bags.
  9. Clean your outdoor space. Remove any yard signs you don’t actively practice what it says — are you acting in ways that believe in Black Lives Matter, if the answer is no then take down that yard sign.

    Pull out invasive species and put in native plants. If you are purchasing plants or seeds look for vendors who are from communities of color. If this isn’t an option, make a donation to your local Native led environmental organization – there is probably one in your surrounding area.
  10. Clean your energy consumption both metaphorically and physically. Where are you spending your personal energy? If there is a person who is draining you because of their entrenched beliefs maybe it is time to clear them from your life.

    Tidy up your physical energy consumption. Unplug things you don’t use. Pollution hurts communities of color hardest, do your part by lowering your environmental and carbon footprint.
  11. Spring clean your beliefs and attitudes towards things that might challenge you. Spend some time reflecting on where you’ve grown in thinking about race, disability, immigration, community, etc. Where do you need to go next on this journey?

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers. At this time I don’t offer ‘extras’ or bonuses for Patreons. I blog after working a full-time job, volunteer and family commitments thus it is hard to find time to create more content. Whatever level you are comfortable giving helps to keep the blog ad-free, pay for back-end cost, research costs, supporting other POC efforts, etc. If your financial situation changes please make this one of the first things you turn-off — you can still access the same content and when/if you are able to re-subscribe we’ll appreciate it.

Abby, Adrienne, Agent001, Aimie, AlaynaAlessandra P., Alessandra Z., Alexa, Aline, Alison F.P., Alison P., Allison K., Amanda, Amber, Amira, Amy H., Amy H.N., Amy K., Amy P., Andie, Andrea, Andrea J., Angelica, Angelina, Ann, Ashlee, Ashlie, Avery, Barb, Barbara, Barbara B., Barrett, Becky, Beth, Brad, brian, Bridget, Brooke B., Brooke D.W., Cadence, Caitlin, Calandra, Callista, Cari, Carmen, Carol Ann, Carolyn, Carrie B., Carrie C., Carrie S., Caryn, Catherine L., Catherine S. x2, Cedra, Celicia, Chelsea, Christa, Christina, Christine, Clara, Clark, Claudia, Claudia A., Courtney, Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcy, Darcy E., Deb, Denyse, Diana, Diane, E., Ed, Edith B., Edith B. (2), Eileen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth U., Emiko, emily, Erica J., Erica L., Erica R.B., Erin, Erin H., Evan, Francis, Gail, Hannah, Hayden, Heather, Heidi, Heidi H., Heidi N and Laura P, Heidi S., Hilary, Hope, J., Jackie, Jaime, Jake, Jane, JJanet, Jason, Jean, Jeanne, Jelena, Jen, Jena, Jenn, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer S., Jennifer T., Jennifer W., Jess G., Jessa, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessica R., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon G., Jon P., Jordan, Julia, June, Karen, Kari, Katharine, Kate C., Kate G., Kate T., Kathryn, Katie D., Katie O., Kawai, Keisha, Kelly S, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie H., Kellie M., Kelly, Kim, KymberliKimKimberly, Krissy, Kirsten, Krista D.B., Krista W., Kristen, Kumar, Kyla, Laura T., Laura G., Laurel, Lauren, Laurie B., Laurie K., Leah, Lindsay, Liora, Lisa C., lisa c., Lisa P.W., Lisa S., Liz, Lori, Lori N., Lyn, Lynn, Maggie, Maka, Maki, Marc, Mareeha, Marge, Marilee, Mark, Marki, Mary, Matthew M., matthew w., Maura, McKenzie, Meghan, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Mickey, Migee, Mike, Milo, Mindy, Miranda, Misha, Molly, Myrna, Nancy, Nat, Natasha D., Natasha R., Nora, Norah, Norrie, Peggy, PMM, Polly, Porsche, Rachel G., Rachel S.R., Raquel, Raquel S., Rebecca O., Rebecca S., Reiko, Risa, Rise, Ruby, Ruchika, Sandra, Sarah B., Sarah H., Sarah K.B., Sarah K., Sarah L., Sarah O., Sarah O. (2), Sarah R., Sarah S., Sarena, Sarita, Sean, Selma, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Sharon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Shelley, Skyler, Steph, Stephanie, Stephen, Su, Susan, Susan M., Susan M.x2, Susan U., T., Tallie, Tana, Tania DSC, Tania T.D., Tara, TerraCorps, Terri, Titilayo, Tracy, Tracy G., Tracy T.G., Tyler, virginia, Vivian, Will, Willow, yoko, Yvetteand Zan

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up-to-date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. Please subscribe, the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). To see what Erin is reading and recommended books check out the Fakequity Bookshop.