2020 Culturally Significant Dates & New Years (x19)

20200109_233920_0000Time to pull out your calendars and start marking off dates. Here is the 2020 Fakequity list of culturally significant dates, new years, and monthly celebrations.

Why this list

A few years ago I invited a colleague to coffee. She was ridiculously gracious in reminding me the date fell during Ramadan. I knew she was Muslim and I should have realized she would be fasting during Ramadan. At that moment I realized I couldn’t rely upon western calendars to remind me of these important dates in doing cross-cultural and cross-racial work. I made sure to put in Ramadan on my calendar and continue to do this annually.

Another year, as we were planning an event, we checked with our very diverse planning group to see if a certain date would be ok. Everyone signed off on it and only the week before we realized it fell during another important religious holiday. Another western calendar fail.

I also decided to update the list because it is interesting and fun to explore cultures through their important days. Such as this year I learned Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as Moon Cake day. I love a good moon cake, sooo yummy and so calorie dense. I also learned a little more about important Buddhism dates by including a few into this year’s list. We can learn about people and cultures by what they celebrate or choose to use as remembrances.

Notes and Biases

The list below does not include too many Western or Christian holidays. Those dates are easily found on Western calendars and many online calendars (MS Outlook or Google Calendar) have plugins that will pre-populate those for you. I also purposefully did not want to center American/European/white-centric holidays with this list.

No list can incorporate every culture’s dates and holidays. I did my best to include dates that a very diverse friend and colleague group mentioned as being important to them and their faiths, cultures, and backgrounds. This means there are a lot of biases included in the list. To name a few of those biases – US West Coast, English speaking/literate, social media connected. I double-checked this list against a few other lists (here is one from Cultures Connecting) to see if I missed major events. Some list are more inclusive than the Fakequity list, and others skewed differently, such as they included American holidays and Christian holy days. As authors and editors, we make editorial and political decisions on what to include and exclude. It is important for you to do your own research and decide what is important to include you and your network and daily work.

I did my best to make the list as accurate as possible, however there are cultural nuances that may have been missed. Such as in regionality is important. Such as the Puget Sound and Minneapolis have large Somali communities, so those dates play more prominently than in other places like Hawaii. Hawaii has holidays that aren’t celebrated elsewhere (I didn’t include those on this list, but look up Kamehameha day). Some holidays or events have different starting and ending on different dates than what I may have listed due to different practices. Some events may start at sundown/sunset on one day but Western calendars (which I relied on) may show the date differently. Please check with your own networks to ensure you are being culturally sensitive if observing a date.

2020 Culturally Significant Dates

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – 1/20/20
  • Lunar New Year (Chinese) / Tet (Vietnamese) / Seollal (Korean) – 1/25/2020
  • Leap Day / 2020 Leap Year – 2/29/20 (Not necessarily culturally significant, but author’s bias and privilege to insert this)
  • Hinamatsuri – Girl’s Day (Japanese) – 3/3/20 – annual date 3 March
  • Holi – 3/9/20 sundown, ends 3/10/20 sundown
  • Passover (Jewish) – 4/8-16/20 ends nightfall
  • Eretria Easter – 4/12/20
  • Ethiopian Orthodox Easter – 4/19/20
  • Orthodox Easter – 4/19/19 [Edit — corrected to this date]
  • Children’s / Boy’s Day (Japanese) – 5/5/20 –annual date 5 April
  • Ramadan – 4/23 (sundown) -5/23/20 (tentative dates, dependent on the sighting of the moon)
  • Vesak / Vesākha / Vaiśākha / Buddha Jayanti / Buddha Purnima / Buddha Day (Buddhist) – 5/7/20
  • Eid ul-Fitr – 5/24/20
  • All Saints Day (Orthodox) — 6/14/20
  • Juneteenth – 6/19/20
  • Summer Solstice (northern hemisphere) – 6/20/20
  • Hajj (Islam) – 7/30/20 (ten-day period)
  • Liberation Day (Guam) – 7/21/20
  • Ethiopian New Year – 9/11-9/12/20
  • Mid-Autumn Festival – 10/01/20
  • Rosh Hashanah – 9/18-9/20 (starts sundown 9/18)
  • Yom Kippur – 9/27-9/28 (starts sundown 9/27)
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – 9/13 – annually recognized
  • White Sunday (Samoa) – 10/11/20
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day – 10/12/20
  • All Saints Day – 11/1/20 (always 1 Nov)
  • Día de los Muertos – 11/1/20 (always 1 Nov)
  • US Presidential Election Day – 11/3/20
  • All Souls Day – 11/2/20 (always 2 Nov)
  • Diwali / Deepavali / Dipavali / Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikh) – 11/14/20
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance – 11/20/20 – annually recognized
  • Bodhi Day (Buddhist) – 12/8/20
  • Human Rights Day – 12/10 – annually recognized
  • Las Posadas and Noche Buena (Christian Latin American) – 12/16-24/20
  • Simbang Gabi (Filipino) – 12/16 – 12/24/20
  • Winter Equinox (northern hemisphere) 12/21/20
  • Hanukkah / Chanukah – 12/10-18/20 (starts and ends at nightfall)
  • St. Nicholas Feast Day (celebrated by Greek Orthodox) — 12/26/20
  • Kwanzaa – 12/26-1/1 annually celebrated
  • Orthodox / Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas / Eritrean Orthodox Christmas (Note: Not all Orthodox celebrate Christmas on this day, many celebrate Christmas on 12/25, the 1/7/21 date follows the ‘old calendar’) – 1/7/21

New Years Dates

This is a favorite list to put together. I enjoy seeing all of the different new year dates and thinking fresh starts are available to us year-round – 19 different dates listed. It stretches our thinking from a linear January – December frame to thinking more wholly. Lunar new year is coming up, so get that second round of new year’s resolutions going.

  • Orthodox New Year – 1/7/20 and 1/7/21 (including 2021 since we passed the 2020 date)
  • Losar / Tibetan New Year – 2/24/20
  • Lunar New Year (Chinese) / Tet (Vietnamese) / Seollal (Korean) – 1/25/20
  • Tsagaan Sar/ White Moon (Mongolian) – 1/24/20
  • Persian Nowruz / Iranian New Year – 3/20/20
  • Naw-Rúz / first day of the Baháʼí calendar – 3/20/20
  • Nyepi Bali Hindu New Year – 3/25/20
  • Ugaadhi / Telegu and Kannada New Year – 4/6/19
  • Thingyan / Burmese New Year Festival – 4/13-16/20
  • Aluth Avurudda (Sinhalese New Year, Sri Lanka) – 4/13-14/20
  • Songkran (Thailand) – 4/13-16/20
  • Khmer New Year – 4/13-16/20
  • Bun Pi Mai (Lao) – 4/13-15/20
  • Bengali New Year, Pohela Boishakh – 4/14/20
  • Matariki, Maori New Year (New Zealand) – 7/13/20
  • Al-Hijra / Muharram (Islamic / Muslim) – 7/20/20
  • Enkutatash / Ethiopian New Year – 9/12/20 (due to 2020 being a leap year)
  • Rosh Hashanah – 9/18-9/20 (starts sundown 9/18)
  • Diwali / Deepavali / Dipavali / Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikh) – 11/14/20

Monthly Recognitions

  • January – none
  • February – African American History Month
  • March – Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
  • April – Arab American Heritage Month
  • May – Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month
  • June – LGBT Pride Month
  • July – none
  • August – none
  • September – Hispanic Heritage Month (15 Sept – 15 Oct)
  • October – Disability Employment Awareness Month, Filipino American History Month, LGBT History Month
  • November – Native American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month
  • December – none

A special thank you to everyone who contributed to this list this year and in the past. I appreciate all of you sharing your wisdom, time, and talent to make this as rich and diverse as all of you. A heartfelt thank you.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Angelica, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G., Ashlie, Barb, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brooke B., Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Cadence, Carmen, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Jaime, Janis, Jean, Jena, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

 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).

2020 Fakequity Pledge

20200102_2141200.8032938833661483

Square orange graphic – 2020 Fakequity Pledge

2020 is here, the start of a new decade. In the 2020 Fakequity pledge list, I’ve organized the list by how we live our lives: work, live, and play. My hope is you’ll take this start of the year and pledge to think and do things a little differently, after all, racial justice work is about a journey – we’re never done.

A few notes: Work doesn’t mean just paid work, it includes however you fill your day – volunteering, supporting family, etc. In a few places, I’ve suggested ways you can deepen your commitments – after all this work is about a journey and we can do better, reflect and learn more, and build and sustain relationships. If doing all 20 of these feels overwhelming, choose one or two from each category and concentrate on those for a while, then revisit the list and try a few others in a few weeks or months.

In 2020 I pledge to do the following:

Work:

  1. Learn about institutional racism and search for ways to undo it within your sphere of influence. Do you have control or the ability to add a topic to a staff meeting? Suggest a conversation about how race shows up in your work and look for ways to undo racism.
  2. When looking at data, think critically and analyze it for racial disparities. Ask questions such as is what are the historical racial influences that allowed the data to show up the way it does, look to see if disaggregated ethnic data is available, etc.
  3. If you are a white person, especially a white leader with formal or informal power, ask yourself where do you spend your work energy – is it investing in colleagues and organizations of color?
  4. Diversify your program, board, program material (e.g. books, videos, music, etc.) to incorporate more POC voices. Remember diversity isn’t equity, but it helps.
  5. Do a time or calendar audit of where and with whom you spend your work time. Who’s voices influence your work? Do they match the demographics of who’s farthest from justice?
  6. Identify places within your work where you can diversify and share decision making with communities of color.
  7. Evaluate how your organization unintentionally reinforces ableism. Such as do your job postings list physical requirements such as “must be able to stand, lift 20 lbs., drive, etc.” (these phrases screen out many qualified candidates and does your job really require them?), or does your event location have stairs (hint: list the ADA entrances on the invite or follow-up email), are events all oral with no microphone amplification (get a mic and require speakers to use it), etc. There are many ways we can re-imagine our work to be more welcoming and less ableist.

Live:

  1. Evaluate where you spend your money. Does it match your racial equity values? Check out the POC Business map 2.0 from our friends at Equity Matters and shift some of your purchasing power to these businesses. Instead of buying flowers at the big chain grocery store, stop by a florist of color, such as Flowers Just 4 U – the only Black-owned florist in the Pacific Northwest.
  2. Take out a piece of paper and make a list of influential people of color in your life. They can be historical such as Rosa Park, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, etc. From this list figure out who’s histories are missing and research them. Such as have you learned about Indigenous people who’s land you’re on, not just the Native Americans who we get a glimpse at in history class.
  3. If you have kids or are in proximity of kids, ask what they are learning in school. Influence their awareness by asking and sharing about how people of color have influenced whatever they are learning about. If you want to take it a step further, inquire with their teachers, the PTA, administration, to see how you can influence or start some racial equity work at the school. It can start small such sharing POC authored titles or using your influence to ask how relationships are formed with communities of color within and outside of the school. If you want to go deeper find a school with a high concentration of students of color and become a tutor or mentor – make this a multi-year commitment, we don’t need charity tours.
  4. Stop using gendered language – “you guys,” “boys and girls,” “Ladies and Gentlemen,” “brothers and sisters,” etc. I admit I do this all the time. I catch myself saying “you guys,” when I call for my kids, only one of which considers themselves a ‘guy.’ Now that I’m aware of it, I am working to change my phrasing. Along with being aware of gendered language, ask people what pronouns they use and commit to using them.
  5. Stop and think before saying something. We’ve all done it, said something and then thought, “Oophh, that didn’t come out right.” Practice pausing and listening before speaking or hitting send on that email where you want to unleash. Remember a lot of this work and being in a community isn’t about you and your feelings, it is about thinking about others.
  6. Name your race and think about how your race and your ethnicity have shaped you. Race is the broader categories – African American/Black, Asian, Latinx, Native American/Indigenous, Pacific Islander, White. Ethnic groups are the smaller sub-categories under race, such as my race is Asian, my ethnicities are Japanese and Okinawan. How do you know you are from your race group? What stories were you told and continue to tell yourself and others related to your race?
  7. Put important religious holidays and cultural dates on your calendar. Be sure to avoid scheduling meetings on these days. As an example, don’t schedule events that revolve around food during Ramadan. Instead of using the federal holiday of Columbus day, write in Indigenous People’s Day. [Edit: Here is the 2020 listof Culturally Important Dates.]
  8. Voting is how we define our values in public policy. Vote. Research the candidates, ask them hard questions about how they support Black and Indigenous people especially. Question their voting records. Donate time and money to candidates of color, even if the candidates don’t win their running changes the race.

Play:

  1. Traveling soon? Read a book about the place you’re going by a local author. Recently in a book-based Facebook group someone said they were traveling to Hawaii and wanted to read a book about the islands before visiting. I’m from Hawaii so this intrigued me, what books would people suggest? Many of the books listed were titles I’ve seen before (albeit haven’t read). Most were by white men who visited, researched, and then wrote about Hawaii – not the way I want people to learn about the Hawaii I grew up in. I suggested a few local authors and my friend who is an English teacher in Hawaii texted me a few more suggestions. By digging deeper, we can get a more authentic experience. If you’re not traveling soon (high-five, less climate impact), take a moment to learn more about your hometown from a POC perspective.
  2. Visit a POC museum, cultural center, festival, etc. Many have free days, such as first Thursdays in Seattle, Smithsonian Free Museum Day, or some library systems have loaner museum passes with advance sign up. Festivals are often free, but keep in mind these aren’t the places to do deep learning.
  3. Pick a POC owned restaurant or café and visit it. If you’re unsure what to order, ask the staff what they recommend to sample more authentic cuisine. If eating out is beyond your budget, location, or time research POC foods, perhaps shift one grocery shopping trip to an ethnic grocery store (investing in POC businesses) to find the ingredients to make a new dish or drink. Be careful not to appropriate someone else’s food, learning is one thing Columbuisng and appropriation isn’t cool.
  4. Watch two videos and/or read two books from a different language, preferably a non-white/European language. Most of our lives are English-centric, broadening our world to understand non-English perspectives is one way to work towards understanding others. TED Talks, Netflix Korean dramas, audiobooks, cookbooks, and children’s books all count.
  5. Practice Squad Care. The concept of Squad Care is from African American writer Melissa Harris Perry: “Squad care reminds us there is no shame in reaching for each other and insists the imperative rests not with the individual, but with the community.” Take care of one another in 2020. Check in on each other, build genuine relationships, be a friend, and just be. (h/t Heidi for introducing us to the Squad Care article.)

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G.,  Ashlie, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brooke B., Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Cadence, Carmen, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Crystal, Dan, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Janis, Jean, Jena, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

 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).

 

2019 – Finding, Sharing, and Learning the Justices we need in Books

img_20190702_105031.jpg

“Read Rise Resist” Tote bag image from Powell’s Books in OR. Photo by E. Okuno

My brain is a little tired this week. I’ve been eyeball deep in a huge survey project at work. It is an incredible project bringing together multiple partners, parents/caregivers, schools, language-based communities, and so many others to give input on what family engagement looks like. At another time I’ll share more about what I’m learning in that project—it is fascinating and overwhelming at the moment. This past Fakequity post shares a bit about the 2015 survey we did.

As my final post of 2019, I will give you my list of favorite books I’ve read this year. Maybe this will give you some books to read during your holiday break. The list has books for children, young adults, graphic novels, and adult books – a little something for everyone. No blog post next week, we’re taking the holidays off to wind down the year. See you in 2020.

Enjoy.

Book List

This is a short and incomplete list of books I read and enjoyed in 2019. Most of them are by POC authors, I noted one that is by a white author.

In reading these books I’ve learned more about people of color history, about immigration, disability, LGBTQ, and how to act and be more in solidarity with others.

I’ve also enjoyed sharing many of them with my kids. We read before bed and through stories, we explore topics that may not come up in other ways. Such as reading George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy allowed my kid and I to talk about WWII and the incarceration of Japanese Americans. I also did something I somewhat regret and don’t recommend doing. My kid was being a bit of a brat while we were talking, I think it was a defense mechanism to not wanting to think too much more about the internment. Since he was being dismissive and pushing my buttons, I asked: “What would you pack if you only had one bag and one hour to pack?” He listed things and I said “no you can’t take your favorite blanket – it wouldn’t have fit,” and onward. He later cried. I now know this book made an impact on him and he has a deeper sense of connection to history through this book.

With my other kid, I’ve enjoyed watching her ask to revisit books such as Magic Ramen. She often groans when I bring home books from the library with a “not that one” whine. She prefers to read pop-culture Baby Sitters Club in graphic novel, Dog Man (groan), or some book with mice people who go on adventures. I’m all for letting her read whatever she wants for independent reading. I can often convince her to sit through a different book such as Debbi Michiko Florence’s Jasmine Toguchi series or her newest books about fostering pets featuring an Asian protagonist or Under my Hijab by Hena Khan.

There are so many more books I’ve enjoyed over the year. As Jondou wrote about in a previous post, reading these and sharing them brings us the justices we need. Through these books I’ve learned, have more compassion and understanding for other people’s experiences.

Book List

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni – white author

All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism by Lydia XZ Brown – This is a tome of a book, while I didn’t finish it, I did enjoy heavily browsing it. Every school and other spaces (e.g. hospitals, police and fire academies, etc.) should have a copy and encourage people to heavily browse it.

Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection by Matt Dembicki

North of Dawn: A Novel by Nuruddin Farah – This might be the lone adult fiction book I read in 2019, I thought about it as I was listening to an NPR story today about immigration between Europe and Syria.

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior by Heather Gale

I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir by Malaka Gharib

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo – I don’t read a lot of poetry, but enjoyed this a lot

Parker’s Inheritance by Varian Johnson – My kid and I LOVED untangling the mystery in this book

Under my Hijab by Hena Khan

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – a must read

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli – recommended by Kenny in Tacoma on Twitter.

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff – white

This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto by Suketu Mehta – I listened to this on audiobook format

My Footprints by Bao Phi

M Is for Melanin: A Celebration of the Black Child by Tiffany Rose

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei (graphic memoir)

Stone River Crossing and Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom by Tim Tingle – I really enjoyed this historical YA fiction

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Yang


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie,Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G.,  Ashlie, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brooke B., Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Cadence, Carmen, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Crystal, Dan, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Janis, Jean, Jena, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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).

2019 POC Shopping Guide

20181214_002247

picture of wrapped gift featuring African American children. Photo by Erin Okuno

By Erin Okuno

A few weeks ago my friend Bao asked on Facebook “What are a few ways to make the holidays more meaningful and less about stuff?” The responses were interesting, everything from wrapping gifts in pillowcases to homemade gifts and repurposed gifts. I mentioned I try to shop at POC owned businesses, which means some gifts are experiences and tangible gifts are more focused such as art, food, etc. It also means there is a double impact of investing dollars into POC communities which hopefully also brings about other forms of justice, such as economic and environmental justice.

Here is the 2019 POC Shopping Guide. Be sure to the check the 2018 Shopping Guide for other ideas.

Experiences

Along with the theme of less-stuff and investing in people and relationships giving experiences is often a great way to support POC businesses.

Take a Friend to Coffee or Drinks – For the holidays invest in people by taking your friends and family to coffee or drinks. If the holidays are too busy do it in January. Check the POC Map 2.0 to find a POC owned business for some nosh and drinks. A friend whose partner is a bartender said his tips generally drop by 30% during the holidays. Mostly because people are busy getting ready for the holidays, entertaining at home, or it is winter and too cold to go out. Make sure to tip your servers, especially your POC servers very generously during the holidays. Extend this into January as well when business is still slow for bartenders and servers since new year’s resolutions keep people out of the bars.

Gift Certificate for Relaxation – For people who have everything consider giving them the gift of slowing down. A gift certificate to a Korean spa such as Olympus Spa (women only) or finding a POC yoga instructor and buying a gift certificate to their class or retreat might be an appreciated gift. Finding the time to use the gift may be challenging but slowing down to invest in ourselves and each other isn’t a bad thing.

We are on Native lands and Indigenous businesses are all around us. If you are traveling during the holidays stop into a Native American museum or cultural center, here is a handy website with a comprehensive listing. While there buy some gifts, art, or food at the gift shops and restaurants to invest back into their businesses. Along with this, be sure to may your end of year rent payment to your local Native/Indigenous organization. If you are in Seattle you can make your rent payment to the Duwamish at Real Rent Duwamish. If you would like to support two other Native organizations in Seattle Chief Sealth Club supports the urban Indian community, and Daybreak Star Doulas supports mothers through birth and all the ‘feels’ that go with becoming a parent.

Christmas Trees in Seattle – If you haven’t picked up your Christmas tree yet pick up your tree from El Centro de la Raza in Seattle. The trees come from a Latinx owned tree farm near Seattle. The proceeds from the tree sales support the important programs at El Centro. Once you’ve picked up your tree and thank the kind volunteers, grab a coffee drink at The Station (another Latinx owned business). Once you’re done there stop for a bite to eat at Cafetal Quilimbo (really great tamales) further South on Beacon Hill or across the street at Carnitas Michoacan.

If you need flowers this holiday season, order them from Flowers 4 U. This is the ONLY Black owned floral shop in the Pacific NW. The owner needs to raise $6,000 or face eviction. Read this AfricaTown Story for more details and ways to help, including a link to a GoFundMe Campaign and advocacy to several mortuaries who used to order from her shop. [Added 12/14/19]

POC Owned Bookstores and POC Authored Books

This year books by POC authors have been a go-to gift. Whenever possible I’ve tried to buy these books from POC owned bookstores. Since last year’s gift guide, I’ve found several new POC owned bookstores which helped me diversify where to invest some of my book buying purchases. I’d rather spend my money at these bookstores than at the mega-online-store named after a river.

Mahogany Books is a Black-owned bookstore in Washington DC. They have a great collection of books by African Americans and Black authors. Ordering through their website is just as easy as ordering through other mainstream bookstores. I’ve found titles here I wouldn’t have noticed in other places.

Libros en Espanol is a Latino online bookstore. A few weeks ago, a friend who just had a baby asked for bilingual books as a baby gift. Of course, the aunty crew jumped all over this request. I was thrilled to find Libros en Espanol, a Spanish language bookstore. The website is all in Spanish, but overall easy enough to navigate to place an order, especially with the translate function on many web browsers.

Na Mea Hawaii is a Native Hawaiian owned bookstore in Honolulu, HI. The store host cultural events as well as books for sale. The online bookstore features a wide array of titles from Native Hawaiian history and culture to a Hawaiian language translation of Harry Potter. While I haven’t ordered from the website yet, the next time I want a book about my home-state I’ll be sure to consult the website and order a title through here.

Here are a few new books I am in love with by POC authors, give yourself the gift of reading them and then gift them to others:

Aloha Kitchen – I grew up in Hawaii and ‘local’ food is comfort food. This cookbook is by Alana Kysar, a Japanese American. The book has gorgeous pictures of ‘local grinz’ such as soy-glazed spam musubi, chicken adobo, haupia (coconut dessert), chicken long rice, and so much more. I browsed the book with my kid and she enthusiastically said: “I like that! Can we cook NOW?”

Trickster – We read this compilation of Native American graphic stories/comics during the Thanksgiving break. Both of my kids loved snuggling in to pick which comics to read together. Sharing this during Thanksgiving was a small way to refocus the holiday on our Native relations.

How to be Anti-Racist – Grab a copy of this book for yourself and one for a friend or colleague. Create a book sharing community so you can talk through what you’re reading and learning together.

This Land is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto – I listened to the audio version of this book and found myself re-listening to parts. This book explains how immigration shaped and continues to reshape our nation and world. As climate change and other geopolitical forces change our world immigrants experiences change as well, and we need to understand these changes to be in more just relation with each other.

Perhaps in a future blog post I’ll share out a few more titles I liked from 2019.

#BuyDisabled

Jump into Twitter-land and search up #BuyDisabled to find businesses and artist with disabilities. 2018 Twitter thread here or check out this website or this list. Take some time to find the POCs in these lists.

Down Time or On the Road—Podcast Time

If you are traveling or commuting this winter, download a few of these podcasts to learn more about POC experiences. While you’re at it make sure to support the shows by subscribing to their Patreon accounts or sending in a donation.

All My Relations is hosted by Matika Wilbur and Adrienne Keene, Native American womxn. The podcast covers everything from Native history to topics such as DNA testing, to Native erasure.

LeVar Burton Reads isn’t focused on race, but hosted by the former Reading Rainbow host and actor from Star Trek. Quite a few of the stories are by POC authors.

Code Switch by NPR. While this is a mainstream podcast, the topics are related to race and I often learn something new when I take the time to listen.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie,Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G.,  Ashlie, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Cadence, Carmen, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Crystal, Dan, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Janis, Jean, Jena, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, Priya, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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).

Poverty Tours

HopesAndDreamsish3

Art from Amplifer: Gregg Deal – Real Power Real People

Today was my computer and office day. It’s been much needed since I’ve been out of the office for most of the week and having just come off of the Thanksgiving break. It was nice to have some desk time. I took a break to check Twitter and saw a tweet from a policy conference. The tweet was sharing how a panelist talked about why representation from people of color with diverse backgrounds and experiences are necessary to forming policy. The speaker, a Black womxn, said she was tired of going on ‘poverty tours’ and seeing herself in the faces of the people she was meeting and having to promise the people she was meeting with that things would be different. This resonated with me.

Closer to home I’ve been working on a huge community-based survey project. Tonight, I joined a school at their literacy night to collect surveys. Our survey is long, it takes time to fill out, and even with translated copies, it takes a lot of effort to complete. It also takes a lot of trust for families, especially families of color, to trust us with their stories and data. They don’t want to be the paper version of a poverty tour. They want to know their information will be treated with care, valued, and we’ll use it for their benefit. While they didn’t say it directly in many ways they asked what will change because they took the time to fill out the survey.

Why Poverty Tours Need to End

We need to stop putting BIPOCs on display. We often preach on this blog and in other racial equity work that pocs need to be included, consulted, and inform and be informed. Some people take this to mean they do site visits, have diverse speaker panels, and bring in experts, or charter buses to go on tours. I’ve listened to many school board meetings where they talk about ‘student voice’ as being important — this ends up being literally student voice, “We want your voice, here read from this script. Don’t tell us your thoughts.”

A few years ago, a professor from a prestigious business school told a story about how every year the faculty from the influential business school goes on a learning trip. The trips are often to other countries so they can learn about emerging economies, trade, or other things related to their research and teaching. Instead that year, the faculty deliberated and through a serious of deep conversations decided they wanted to understand the experiences of Americans. They wanted to understand the great divide facing America. It made for a compelling story and I think they were proud of themselves for recognizing needs within their own country. They felt compelled to learn about their own, to revisit their proverbial backyard. Yet this learning tour and story missed the mark. What I wanted to hear but didn’t was how the tour impacted their work, how they built and sustained relationships with communities, how it wasn’t a one-way transactional occurrence. A fly-by of learning. Maybe they did these things but in the storytelling I missed it.

These poverty tours are damaging and in the long run hurt communities of color. We don’t need more people coming in to extract information to use it in their teaching and research. We don’t need people retelling or defining poverty and poc experiences. We definitely don’t need a bus load of white and pocs with privilege coming into the hood to gawk, nod, or to hold our hands with pity – this is awkward for everyone, especially the pocs who are closer to the people.

Charity programs are really good at poverty tours – present poor people, guilt people into doing something, donate money, and they feel good. No mess, no need to get involved, it is easy. Systems level change can’t happen with charity models.

Don’t pack for the bus ride, invest like you live there.

If we want to stop racial inequities we can’t rely upon poverty tours. We need to invest in relationships and recreating the ways we operate. We need to allow the people who are most impacted by injustices to define their own problems and solutions.

Community Led or Community Informed

The opposite of the business school story from above comes from a colleague and friend who leads an advocacy organization. Paola shared the question, “Are we community led, or community informed?” She went on to talk about how much of the policy work happening today, even from the most progressive organizations, is often community informed. I appreciate the distinction between the two dichotomies, and even with this there are gradations.

While community led is best, much of our work is often community informed. Being community led often means restructuring the way we work. It means suspending judgment and allowing the community to take us in new directions. Poverty bus tours do not exist in this world because the work is now embedded and a part of the community, not just a stop along the highway. Too often our work is still community informed – a stop along the way where we sit to listen to people who are impacted by injustices, maybe a stop to have coffee, then drive back to our offices to sit with the stories we learned and try to craft policies or adapt practices that tinker at the edges of their injustices.

Instead, we need to invest and support authentically built and sustained community led efforts. These organizations or sometimes even grassroots projects may look and feel very different than what we are used to seeing and supporting. As an example, I’m part of a Facebook group, Gifts of Hope-Seattle run by a local African American mom. Samona created the group to support families she’s met living in a tiny home village and in transitional shelters. Through her Facebook group, with almost 800 people in the group, she shares the needs of families and asks others to step in to help. Oftentimes, the asks are for simple things such as new shoes, a simple birthday party for a child, or providing hot meals to the community. While her organization isn’t an advocacy organization, she is their best advocate. She has the trust of the families and knows they need. Yet her work is often overlooked (or under-recognized) since it doesn’t look like most mainstream nonprofits or advocacy organizations. She’s helped close to 20,000 people last year. She knows her families and if we invest in her and her work she is a closer advocate then many professional advocates, board members, or policymakers.

When we stop and listen over time and build trust with people, we find new solutions. Our assumptions change, our beliefs can grow, and reframe our thinking. We can’t do this by whizzing through on a poverty bus tour.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie,Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G.,  Ashlie, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Crystal, Dan, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Janis, Jean, Jena, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, Priya, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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).

My First Secret-Decoder Dictionary

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Carrie for guest writing this week’s blog post. Carrie is our white ally who periodically contributes to the blog about disability justice and thoughts on being an ally. This week she writes about being vague with language, which makes her cranky. AND, today is #ThankYouPatrons day! Thank you to all of our Patreon sponsors, you keep the blog going. A heartfelt thank you.

Fakequity is taking next week off to sleep, eat, watch Netflix, and maybe read a book (probably not). We’ll be back in December with some fresh blog posts.


By Carrie Griffin Basas, your virtual influencer, futurist, and psychic friend (and other words that confuse me)

3h6iak

Red panda meme: What did you say? What did you really mean to say?

I suffer through meetings where others are speaking in polite and vague language. As my friends and colleagues note, I have a certain tell when I’m irritated. Going into cranky lawyer mode, I ask people to define something or describe what it looks like. Instead of breaking people’s will to participate in meetings with me, I’ve decided to create a self-soothing dictionary of what people really mean when they can’t define something.

Ally: self-anointed person no one asked to speak for them.

Community: people who were invited to come (or not) and they don’t look like the hosts.

DEI or EDI: “diversity, equity, and inclusion” or “equity, diversity, and inclusion”– used when someone is afraid to break down the components of racism, ableism, xenophobia, sexism, and other forms of oppression.

Disrupt: said something safely snarky and will now return to IG account for the remainder of this meeting.

Engage: sent an email without a relationship or briefly touched that person’s shoulder at a fundraiser. Multiple shoulders= “community engagement.”

Equity: trying to be “fair” while also being unclear about the origins of this issue and the solutions necessary to fix it. Please don’t ask me what I am trying to address but trust me that I am working on it.

Human-centered design: I work with people. Last time I checked, no lemmings were involved in creating my strategic plan, but of course, that would be easier.

Intersectional: it is complicated and I’m not sure how these pieces all go together but that’s cool. Wow, your identity is interesting. What percentage are you intersectional?

Issues: we have a problem, but we refuse to call it a problem. Erin’s speech professor despised the word issues; “People don’t have issues, they have problems.”

Outreach: making new friends with “community” (see definition above).

Race: literally mean a race or competition, like Race to the Top. Or talking about a marathon they just ran. People have a hard time saying the word race as it relates to people.

Special needs: afraid to say “disabled” or “disability.” Let’s right this wrong and use special needs in a sentence that reflects whose special need it is: “Penelope had special needs because she wanted to speak for all disabled people even though she was nondisabled.”

Stakeholdering: getting feedback after we’ve decided what we’re doing. Define stakeholders narrowly as to minimize work. (My friend Catherina pointed out how corporate this term is, as well as it how it ties to issues of land ownership and therefore, colonialism, racial covenants, and other economic justice issues.)

Strategic plan: document encapsulating vague commitments to DEI (see earlier definition) and the community/ies (see earlier definition) that I will engage.

Thought partner: you do the thinking so that I don’t have to. I’ll be sure to quote you in some meeting where others question my expertise to speak to this issue.

Let’s bring all this definitional work together now with an example of a meaningless statement that could be heard in your next meeting:

Through a human-centered outreach and disruptive stakeholdering strategy, I engaged with communitythought partners, and allies to strengthen our DEI strategic planning efforts around such intersectional issues as special needs, race, and equity.

But what if we simply said what we meant?

We need each other as we keep trying to be as human and loving as possible and to go beyond our limited experiences. Let’s blow things up together while celebrating the good stuff, like the fact that you see me and I see you. If I’m not accountable to you, if I don’t meet and honor you where you are, then let me know. I’ll do better. I want to do better.


Carrie Basas works in education advocacy and formerly in civil rights law, specializing in disabilities rights. Formerly she was a law professor impressing upon law students the importance of understanding race and its impact on people. Carrie has a MEd in Education Policy, Organizations and Leadership from the University of Washington. She earned a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and an Honors B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology/Anthropology from Swarthmore College. However, her biggest claim to fame is some of her fashion weekend wear while hanging with her family and dog.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G.,  Ashlie, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Crystal, Dan, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heather H., Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Janis, Jean, Jeanne, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, JP, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Kawai, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laura T., Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mark, Matias, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Migee, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Nat, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, Polly, Priya, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sarita, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Skyler, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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. To subscribe see the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version).

Asian American and Pacific Islander Womxn – Present and Creating Change

KateDeCiccio_LydiaXZBrown-WeTheFuture.jpg

Artwork from Amplifier Art: We The Future – artist: Kate DeCiccio of Lydia X. Z. Brown, read more about Lydia in the post

Last year I crowd-sourced a blog post documenting badass Asian American and Pacific Islander  (AAPI) Womxn. I learned a lot by researching the list of AAPI womxn friends told me about and how they shaped American politics, arts, sports, and society. That blog post came out of a feeling of invisibility in mainstream books and media.

AAPI womxn continue to do amazing things and many AAPIs continue to be overlooked, or our Asianness is not highlighted. This year I’m focusing on different categories to expand our knowledge of Asian American womxn and how we’re shaping the world.

As AAPI womxn we are here, we are doing important work, and we need to celebrate our accomplishments, including as they tie in big and small ways to our racial and ethnic heritages. Many times we can’t turn off being identified as Asian American womxn.

This list was compiled through crowdsourcing from friends. A special thank you to Carrie Basas for the list of Asian womxn working on disability justice. The rest of the list was compiled using research and internet searching which was harder than I thought it would be. AAPI womxn are out there doing amazing things, but often our Asianness and PIness isn’t always mentioned or highlighted, thus it takes some sleuthing to determine connections to racial, ethnic, or cultural connections. I aimed to include Asians from many different ethnicities. The Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences are not monolithic, we are diverse. As AAPI’s our stories are different as well as united.

I purposefully centered the list on Asian Americans, not Asians overall. I hope you will send me the names of other Asian American womxn who deserve to be recognized, there are many other categories I didn’t get to, including authors, environment, social services, and so many others. Email your suggestions to fakequity@gmail.com.

Disability Justice

Alice Wong – is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project.

Mia Mingus – “[Q]ueer physically disabled Korean woman transracial and transnational adoptee.” Writer and activist.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha – poet, writer, and social justice activist. Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/Roma.

Lydia XZ Brown (they/them) — is a “disability justice advocate, organizer, educator, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, especially institutionalization, incarceration, and policing.”

Sandy Ho – Founder of Disability & Intersectionality Summit, queer, activist.

Arts

Ali Wong – comedian and now author, her Netflix specials are a must watch – I’ve stayed up way too late in bed watching and trying not to laugh out loud

Wu Tsang – filmmaker and performance artist, transgender

Medicine and Science

Kazue Togasaki – Dr. Togasaki was a physician in a US internment/concentration camp and delivered 10,000 babies during her lifetime. Japanese American.

Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga is a physician and pediatric immunologist. She was part of a three-womxn team that created a breakthrough in treating babies born to HIV infected mothers effectively curing and redefining how doctors think about HIV/AIDS. Filipino American.

Angela Duckworth – Researcher on psychology and author of the book Grit. Chinese American.

Activist

Channapha Khamvongsa – is dedicated to cleaning up unexploded bombs in Laos after the Vietnam war. She founded and leads the Legacies of War organization working to highlight the problem. Lao-American.

Ai-jen Poo – Labor activist with domestic workers, Chinese American.

sujatha baliga (does not capitalize her name) – Restorative justice practitioner and movement builder. Indian American.

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner – Climate activist and poet. Marshall Island, Pacific Islander.

Leilani Muter – race car driver and environmental activist. Japanese-Hawaiian, White.

There are many other Asian Americans, many in your own communities. My friend Nicole reminds me we as Asian American womxn are present, we are in your organizations, schools, neighborhoods, and daily life. Celebrate each other and the contributions Asian and Pacific Islander womxn bring to the work.

I purposefully used the spelling of womxn.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G.,  Ashlie, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Crystal, Dan, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heather H., Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Janis, Jean, Jeanne, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, JP, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Kawai, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laura T., Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mark, Matias, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Migee, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Nat, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, Polly, Priya, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sarita, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Skyler, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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. To subscribe see the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version).

 

One Question White People Should Stop Asking – What About Me?

Seagulls saying “MINE! MINE! MINE!”

By Erin Okuno

Earlier this week Jondou posed the question “What is one question we wished people would stop asking?” Some of the answers were hilarious others poignant. Many involved stories of people asking for more information then they were entitled to — a trusting relationship wasn’t in place. I shared, I wish white people and pocs with privilege would stop asking “What about me?”

The ‘what about me?’ questions don’t come out as blunt as these three words, it is more insidious, coded, and underhanded:

  • I’ve looked at the research and have questions about this [insert very particular situation]?
  • If you do [this], my child won’t receive [this] – what will you do for them then?
  • How do we get on the list? I really want to make sure we’re on the list.
  • We don’t want to do [fill in the blank] since it will be a hardship for our family. It will force us to change our daily routines or disrupt what we know.
  • What about my house value/safety/cleanliness if the tent encampment/tiny house village moves in a few blocks away?
  • The process didn’t include talking about how this impacts current participants, do we need to change sites/programs/etc.?

I work in the education sector and see and hear these conversations often. Every time there is a major shift in any educational policy people will turn out and advocate for their sides. The voices of privilege (including POCs with privilege) who want to protect their status, programs, place, etc. will show up and start using their voices to proclaim injustices. We also see it in the gun control debate — NRA and other gun rights advocates hunker down and say “What about my right to own a gun?,” “What about my ability to make a living as a legal gun dealer?,” and so on.

On a fundamental level, I get it – there is fear in the unknown, a loss or perceived loss, we’ve all experienced the pain of losing something. I remember when my kid was a toddler, I took a cookie from him that had dropped on the ground — he cried like I had taken away every cookie from him forever. The toddler-trauma of losing that cookie stayed with him for a while. With adults though I’m less patient and want to roll my eyes and say “Do you hear yourself? Stop.”

As humans, we are designed to want what is best. There was probably some evolutionary coding that makes us want the shiniest and best fruits and the fattiest pieces of meat. Those that found the best probably lived longer and received more. Our current racial and societal hierarchy continues to uphold this perception of wanting the best for ourselves and those in our immediate circles of care and influence. Elected offices are predicated on this – vote in the best interest of your constituents versus sometimes voting what is best for others. When we hoard for ourselves, we are taking from others and the me-ness, the my-s, and the hierarchies are upheld.

Instead of asking questions such as those listed above, we acknowledge we are ok and will continue to be ok. There are many others who are struggling more than us, sometimes these struggles are known, sometimes they are hidden, sometimes they aren’t even for us to know (we don’t deserve to know everyone’s stories). Our job is to practice empathy and use our privilege to support others who are furthest from justice.

Recently, I’ve read two books that shape a new path away from me-ness. The first is Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book Talking to Strangers and the second, Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villeanueva (skimmed this one, will read it in depth soon). Between these two books I’m struck by how much of our misunderstandings and beliefs of entitlements are rooted in being isolated from others. When we’re not in proximity to people who are different and not in just relations with others our world views are small. If all you see are your kid’s friends getting into gifted classes, then of course you want your kid to have that too, but if you see others – especially POC kids who can’t get into the system then the world becomes a little less myopic.

Saying we are ok, and we don’t always need the best is hard. There is always someone with more and we believe we are entitled to the same. But do we really need more? Do our kids really need every advantage they can take, and what are the trade-offs when we do this? Acting in the interest of others sometimes feels hard but the benefits will find you in other ways.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G.,  Ashlie, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Crystal, Dan, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heather H., Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Janis, Jean, Jena, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laura T., Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mark, Matias, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Migee, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, Polly, Priya, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sarita, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Skyler, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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. To subscribe see the sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version).

 

Spend Your Money Where it Matters — POC Business Map

Editor’s Note: Remember to vote! Election day is coming up next Tuesday, 5 November. Please remember to pay attention to all the races, especially those that typically don’t get a ton of attention such as school board races.

If you are in WA, learn more about Referendum 88. I won’t tell you how to vote, be an informed voter on this topic. I voted APPROVE. APPROVE means I’m using my vote to undo systemic racism in government agencies and university recruitment. This won’t solve all racism, but it is one step towards racial justice.


By Erin Okuno

About a week ago I received a text from my friend Lauren with a screenshot of a Facebook post showing the POC Business Map had been trolled. It was evening and I was playing board games with my kids, but this text looked serious. Someone took deleted every single pin on the map and left a snarky comment. I forwarded the screenshot to the rest of the Equity Matters team.

There was a mix of emotions from the team. Annoyance, anger, disappointment, pissyness, and then resolve to rebuild the map. The previous map had been accessed over 103,000 times – presumably to do good by finding and investing back into people of color owned businesses. The map was created in Google Maps and open source, meaning anyone could use it for good or to sabotage the efforts by deleting all of the pins.

Heidi and Mindy of Equity Matters created the original map several years ago. It started as a way for Heidi to find some places where she could meet clients and friends for drinks and food. She wanted to make sure her money was being invested into POC businesses. Mindy did some basic research and the framework for the map. It was shared on social media and tons of pins were added. I also hope people used it to find new businesses and to support community building efforts.

When we learned the map was trolled, we assessed what we could do. Some swear words flew back and forth via text, food pictures too since it was evening and we had just gotten off of work. When we stopped swearing and eating we looked into things and figured out there wasn’t a way to recover the original map. Sadly, Google Maps doesn’t have an undo function. What we were lucky L Patrice saw the Facebook post and offered a copy of the map. It gave us a start to rebuild from.

The new map is organized slightly differently. This one is not sorted by business type (e.g. restaurants, coffee shops, services, etc.), version two is sorted by race. This change allows us to intentionally support POCs and holds us more accountable to supporting diverse POCs.

Heidi and the Equity Matters team decided to continue to keep it open source. We trust people to use it for good. We are making copies of the map often and asking others to do the same. If it is trolled again we may put out a call to the community to share their copies. The benefits of having an open-source map is more important than locking it or not rebuilding. We are resilient and more passionate than one troll who was angry or bored for 40 minutes which is the amount of time it took the person to delete all of the pins from the last map.

Why and How to Use the Map

Heidi created the map so she could more easily find places to drink and eat. She wanted to spend her drinking and eating money at POC owned businesses. There are racial wealth gaps in America and where people spend their money can either close or widen those gaps. Because of these racialized wealth gaps business owners of color, especially Black and Brown business owners, have a harder time accessing loans, investors, and networks to gain access to information and power brokers. Spending money within communities of color and purchasing from business owners of colors helps them keep their businesses going and gaining access to more capital and opportunities.

The power of networks is important. When you support business owners of color there is a good chance they are connected to other POCs and will share information, tips, and relationships within these informal and formal networks. This will help to seed the next round and generation of POC business owners.

The map is one of many ‘tools’ out there to help you find businesses where you can spend your money. As an example, if you are trying to set up a business lunch, pull up the map and look for a POC owned lunch spot nearby. Or if you are looking for a specific type of business such as a bookstore, type that into the search bar to see what pops up. Many of the bookstores listed have online stores that can expand your ability to support POCs nationally.

We know you have POC businesses we don’t know about. Please share them by placing a pin for that business. Find the race category for the business on the left side and click the category, then type the business name into the search bar, when you find the business and location click ‘+ Add to map.’ This is easier to do on a computer than a mobile device. We are excited to see the map expand and grow nationally.

Link to the new map is here. Bookmark it so you can refer to it often. Make copies of it too so we have many many many backup copies.

POC Business Map


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G.,  Ashlie, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Crystal, Dan, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heather H., Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Janis, Jean, Jena, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laura T., Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mark, Matias, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, Polly, Priya, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sarita, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Skyler, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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).

Community Engagement BINGO 2 — What to Do

community engagement bingo 2

Last week I put up a BINGO board about community engagement around what not to do. This week while sitting in a meeting I had a moment of enlightenment/ vulnerability/ happiness, that moment led to me realizing I should create a BINGO board focused on what we should do, not just the negatives. This week’s blog post is Community Engagement BINGO 2, What to Do.

Gather a few friends or colleagues and think through your community engagement practices. Give yourself a high five for the boxes you do well. I hope you get a full board of checked off boxes. If you don’t check something off, talk about how you can work to improve your practices.

Below is a list of the text in the BINGO board boxes. I’m sharing it below to allow for more people to be able to read it — small screens make the image hard to read and disability screenreaders and Braille translators do not read images well.

Community Engagement BINGO 2 — What to do:

Clearly articulating who should attend the event (Don’t say everyone. Inviting everyone is inviting no one.)

Ongoing engagement, not one-time events

Creating multiple ways to engage with the overall work (e.g. in person, online, live stream, smaller focus groups, surveys, apps, etc.)

Clear contact information shared

Appropriate notice is provided for events and meetings

Co-designing community engagement with people most impacted

Continually identifying barriers to participation and working to remove them

Listening to people and responding

Being clear about your commitment to undoing racism and centering BIPOCs

Inviting and welcoming people to join, especially paying attention to diversity

Sharing and distributing power (e.g. decision making authority, resources, etc.)

On sign-up forms inviting people to share their needs (e.g. dietary, child care, disabilities accommodations, language, etc.)

Events hosted in accessible locations (e.g. neighborhoods of people most impacted, public transit, ADA compliant, etc.)

Checking calendars to make sure religious and cultural holidays are avoided

Outlining next steps and responsibilities

Creating opportunities for people to build and sustain diverse relationships

Build trust over time and practice transparency, especially when things go wrong

Recognize the expertise of People of Color and those farthest from justice

Be specific and clear with language (i.e. avoid acronyms, no derogatory language, translators appreciate specific language—say what you mean to say, etc.)

Allowing adequate time and physical space for people to interact and understand the content

Dot voting by language – different color dots represents different home languages. Copyright BN

Interactive presentations with meaningful engagement. The photo is an example of how a school community engaged with families across language. The different colored dots represented different home languages.

Facilitators who pay attention to the energy in the room and specifically paying attention to POCs who may not be heard

Follow up by summarizing what you heard and learn. Don’t be an askhole.

Bonus Ideas for the FREE Square

Food – providing culturally resonate and tasty food is a good practice. Spend the money on the good catering from a POC owned restaurant.

Childcare – providing high-quality childcare AND providing ways for children to meaningfully participate in the event or project is important. At another time I’ll share some stories about this topic.

Translated Material and Interpretation – Being able to understand and be understood is a key component of community engagement.

Attentive to cultural norms and practices.

Special thank you to Bao for a few of the ideas, including the box around FOOD, cause food is bonding and engaging across communities. 


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Adrienne, Aimie, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Angie, Anh-Chi, Annie, Annie G.,  Ashlie, Ben, Betsy, Brooke, Brian, C+C, Caitlin, Calandra, Carolyn C., Carolyn M., Carrie, Carrie S., Casey, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Claudia, Cierra, Clark, Colleen, Crystal, Dan, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Donald, Edith, Elena, emily, Erica (2), Erica R.B., Erin, Evan, eve, Freedom, Greg, Hannah, Heather, Heather H., Heidi, Heidi and Laura, Heidi S., Jake, Janis, Jean, Jena, Jennet, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Jennifer T., Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Laurie, Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mark, Matias, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H., Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, Priya, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Sarita, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Skyler, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tara, Terri, Tracy, and Vivian. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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).