COVID19 – Organizations Stepping In

skye-sturm_spread-love_hi-res-credits (1)
“In response to COVID-19, Amplifier launched an emergency campaign with top art curators and public-health advisors from around the world looking for public health and safety messages that can help flatten the curve through education and symbols that help promote mental health, well-being, and social change work during these stressful times.” Artwork by Skye Strum

I’ve been in a funk this week. To get through the funk I decided to ask others what overlooked causes need some love. My friends didn’t disappoint me, they shared many causes and community spirit happening right now.

Listed below are POC groups and organizations doing great things to serve their community during COVID19. Many of these are in Seattle. For those of you outside of Seattle, I hope you will take some time to research and learn about community groups and small nonprofits serving the community during COVID19. It is easy to overlook smaller groups who are often very in touch with community members and coming up with community solutions to problems.

Before I get to the list, I want to share a few other highlights that might have gotten overshadowed because of COVID19. First, it is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Earlier this month was also the Japanese celebration kodomo no hi, Children’s day, May 5. Normally I’d take my kids to the Japanese Community Cultural Center for their children’s day festival. My youngest asked about it and was bummed she wouldn’t get to fish for a balloon yo-yo (a fave activity at the festival) like she has in the past. Instead, we read a Jasmine Toguchi book by Debbi Michiko Florence featuring a Japanese girl and talked about Japanese traditions, and attempted to fold origami creations.

May 5 was National Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Day. Take a moment to learn about our stolen sisters. Just because COVID19 is in the headlines shouldn’t take away from this longstanding injustice to Native and Indigenous women.

POC Led and Embedded Organizations Helping Out

UTOPIA (United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance) is a queer and trans people of color-led, grassroots organization working to build resilience in the Queer and Trans Pacific Islander (QTPI – “Q-T-pie”) community in South King County. During COVID19 they put together a relief fund to support QTPI community, virtual support groups, and even shifted their luau into a virtual event.

Pacific Islander Health Board put together a relief fund to support their community. They also have been sharing information about COVID19 with the Pacific Islander community.

Interim CDA has been delivering food to seniors. It started as a grassroots effort to make sure seniors living in the Seattle International District didn’t have to put their health at risk to get food. Make sure to watch the video.

Kandelia (formerly Vietnamese Friendship Association) quickly reached out to many of their students, all refugees or immigrants, and learned about the great needs within their school community. Kandelia quickly set up food delivery, rent assistance and other services.

While many of us are increasingly conscious about how we get food into our homes with COVID19 out there HUG – Hilltop Urban Gardens in Tacoma, WA has been working on this for years. My friend Mijo shared this: “[A] lot of us are learning about food supply chains, food deserts, neighborhood mutual aid, and food sovereignty for the first time. HUG has BEEN organizing around those issues for years, in a firmly anti-racist, pro-Black/queer/trans way. In skills and knowledge and relationships, they’re exceptionally well-equipped to feed and care for the Hilltop community – they just need more financial resources.”

Na’ah Ilahee Fund is a Native American youth serving program around STEM. I recently had a video chat with a friend who works there. She shared how they have stepped into the space of providing emergency aid to their families, including food deliveries, at-home activities for youth, and also continuing their work around food sovereignty and other programs. Their Native Community Crisis Response Fund: Covid19 is led by the Native community for the Native community which has been hard hit by coronavirus.

Somali Parent Education Board and African Community Housing Development support the Somali and East African immigrant communities in South King County. During COVID19 they quickly heard from families who were struggling to feed their families – especially with kids home from school, provide educational activities, and help families with rent.

Open Arms Perinatal Services provides doula and other support to birthing people which helps to promote a healthy start to life. Birth is normally a time of high-touch as well as vulnerability. Open Arms has adapted their services to continue to remain as high-touch as possible with phone check-ins, and now adapting to providing delivery services to families of food, baby supplies, etc. The challenges remain on securing personal protective equipment (PPE) for their doulas to use during delivery and post-partum services. People have generously donated cloth masks, but PPE is still needed.

Allies Stepping In

When schools closed WA-BLOC (Washington Building Leaders of Change) quickly set up a meal site. Twice a week they partner with local POC owned restaurants to provide about 150 meals to community members in Rainier Beach. Anyone can walk up to receive a meal. By partnering with restaurants they are helping to keep small businesses going too. (WA-BLOC is embedded in the Rainier Beach community. The organization leadership is cross-racial.)

I hope you’ll take some time to find and share organizations in your community that are stepping in. Give them a boost – donate if you can, share their good work on social media, advocate for their causes, write a letter to the editor talking about the need for small organizations to be supported during COVID19 recovery. All of these actions help.


Thank you for your Patreon support: This month we’ll be paying a portion of the support forward to POC led and embedded organizations and individuals directly impacted by COVID19. 

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5 Ways to be an Ally during COVID19

Artwork from Amplifer — Aaron Humby

Before we get started, I want to send a special thank you to all of the teachers and educators. It is Teacher Appreciation Week. I am joining the chorus of people sending you my thanks. Teachers from early learning, K-12, higher education, formal and informal teachers – THANK YOU! Thank you for teaching others how to think about race, thank you for attending to the social and emotional wellbeing of students and families, and thank you for your service. 

How to be an Ally During COVID19

COVID19 is happening to all of us. It is a global pandemic and I can’t think of anyone who is wholly immune to its effects. That said many of us are experiencing the pandemic differently than others and there are ways we can act to help support each other right now.

1. Realize your white and other privileges – White people you still have white privilege. You can walk down the street and not get told “Go home!” because you’re Asian. For many white people, you have the privilege afforded and amassed of having access to a strong(er) network of support because of white birth privileges – networks that can help you attain food, information, shelter, jobs, etc. Use your white privilege to hold other white people accountable for their actions.

If you’re not white realize your privileges – we all have at least a few privileges. Such as you have the privilege of being English literate, access to the internet since this is written in English and published online. Recognizing our privileges also reminds us when we need to use them to support others.

2. Don’t Hoard Opportunities – Earlier this week Equity Matters shared a Facebook post encouraging POCs, especially Black and Brown people, to participate in SCAN (a community-wide scientific effort to assess where asymptomatic people). In the post, which Fakequity reposted, Heidi mentioned asking white people to step back and wait before signing up for a test kit since they need more Black and Brown people in the sample size. A white person commented we were denying white children the opportunity to get tested. Nope, not what we said.

When white people step forward first to ask for testing or other amenities, intentional or unintentional opportunity hoarding happens. Systems don’t discriminate so we need white allies to realize when they are hoarding opportunities and to step back to make room for POCs first. White people can get their turn as well or do a little more work (e.g. travel farther, take a less desirable time slot, etc.) to make sure POCs get what they need first.

Artwork from Amplifer art by Nana Daye

3. Share – Along with not hoarding opportunities, now is a great time to be an ally by sharing. If you have disposable income or some savings you can share, please do. Give as much as you’re comfortable. Right now, needs are acute. Many POCs facing job losses, furloughs, or other financial challenges. POC families who were ok a few weeks ago are now stressing out about how to pay the rent, provide food for families, and survive. Along with this many undocumented families and people with disabilities do not qualify for the US government’s stimulus checks. In many ways, these are people who need the funds the most. If you would like to donate to efforts to get money to people with disabilities and undocumented immigrants, click the links to do so.

Sharing doesn’t just mean money. Share resources, time, information, and share by not buying everything at the store. A friend who is connected to the Somali community called me to say her Somali families were stretched because their local Safeway was running low on staples (e.g. dried beans, lentils, flour, rice, etc.). She said her families didn’t have a lot of extra money or time to drive around to multiple stores to shop. Buying just what you need and not hoarding helps POCs too.

If you can give blood, please make an appointment at the blood bank. I know several people who needed blood transfusion and platelets since COVID19 stay at home orders – thanks to the donors who gave.

4. Realize Safety Looks Different for POCs – Safety looks and feels different for different people. For some safety, if found through social distancing and only essential trips and visits out. For others, culturally or because of disabilities, safety may look different. With the video released of Ahmed Arbury, a Black man who was shot while jogging, safety feels very different right now. A Black friend posted he’s afraid of going out on his runs now and shared a picture of what he looks like wearing a facemask as he runs – I shudder. There are basics to safety, but we shouldn’t judge others based on our own definition of safety.

5. Be an ally – Be an ally by being an ally.


Thank you for your Patreon support: This month we’ll be paying a portion of the support forward to POC led and embedded organizations and individuals directly impacted by COVID19. 

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going and ad-free: Abby, Adrienne, Aimie, Alessandra, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Andrea J.B., 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, Catherine, Cedra, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Christine, Claudia, Cierra, Clara, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Diana, Dick, Donald, Ed, Edith, Elena, Elizabeth, 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.x2, Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathryn A., Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kellie, Kellie H., Keshia, Kimberly, Krista, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Laurie, Laurie K., Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maile, Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H. (x2), Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Seam, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Siobhan, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tania T.-D,Tara, Terri, Tracy, Vanessa, Vanessa V., Virginia, Vivian, and Yvette. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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COVID19 — Signs of Going Back (to normal)

By Carrie Basas with additions from Erin

Artwork from Amplifer, by Rohan Bhatia
The New Normal(Design Fights Covid)
“A reminder so people realise that normal got us here in the first place.”

While we still haven’t cut our own hair, mastered that new coffee drink, or become extroverts, we are seeing those around us look for signs that we will go back soon– to work, date nights, graduations, and shearing of our COVID19 locks. Many people are seeking some reassurance that this state of uncertainty will be over soon. What will be some of the signs of going back? 

When we’ve become uncomfortable with staying home, we will argue that only the vulnerable should stay home– or we will send even more vulnerable people into harm’s way with the argument this period has been too hard or long for those of us who can stay home and keep our jobs.

We will begin to question communities’ concerns that their children were not adequately educated– particularly, students most in opportunity gaps and oppressed by structural racism, ableism, and other injustices. When people ask for more support or make-up learning opportunities, they will be told, “It was hard for everyone. These were difficult times. What do you expect?” Or rather, it will be implied that “those kids” will always be behind. Everyone is returning to school under the same awful circumstances, but we know the pandemic wasn’t an ‘equal’ experience for all.

We will cut public programs and nonprofit resources when they are most needed post-emergency and were before we experienced this situation, such as investments in racial equity, early learning, family engagement programs, special education, and student mental health. These things will be seen as extra. “Core programs” must be supported, even if these programs reify the disparities that existed before COVID19. The irony is before the pandemic, we needed to expand these programs to allow them to serve more of our community’s most vulnerable. Now they will be told they are lucky to maintain funding, when they need expansion funds the most.

Our children will be better at selecting Zoom backgrounds than we are because we are preparing them for the tech-revolution and corporate jobs where they must always excel, especially in a global crisis.

Our teachers will begin to leave the profession, feeling powerless and concerned they are holding spaces and upholding practices that undermine relationships.

Our efforts focused on rebuilding the economy or jumpstarting schools will include familiar voices of those people viewed as reasonable, unemotional experts. They will be centered in whiteness with token nods to people of color and people with disabilities. 

As we pack our bags for the golf course, tennis court, or summer concert series, we will close one eye as we read headlines that fatalities are centered in institutions supporting or confining our elders, disabled community members, prisoners, factory workers, and people who are house-less. They were vulnerable already, right? We put in enough time to show our solidarity, but then it got old and we resent it. The curve is flattening and the risk is now manageable, especially if we tell others to wear masks and stay out of our way.

The announcements of the liberation will be in English and online. Tell your neighbors or don’t– somehow, others will figure it out — if they stay at home it is safer for you since fewer people will be out. In the meantime, we’ll continue to use social media to rant about how others aren’t complying with social distancing or public health guidance.

But, you’re saying by now, “Wait, you haven’t given me signs of my liberation!” Yes, what we’ve given you are signs of going back– going back to the ways we’ve always done things. Many of us have been looking for signs that this crisis could be prompt to revisit the injustices that already exist– they would be in such relief that no one could deny them. Yet, as days pass, we wonder if it is even possible. From education to health announcements, we’ve continued to focus on the majority. If you are looking for signs of when we are going back, you’ve got them. Just wait for more signs or commit to using your power to refuse the “normal” that hasn’t worked for so many of us. Ask how far we’ve come, if at all, and how much time we have left to see progress.

Is this the “liberation” we want? This isn’t the justice many people of color and disabled people want. Going back to ‘normal’ shouldn’t be the desired response. 


Guest blogger Carrie Basas works in education advocacy and formerly in civil rights law, specializing in disability rights. During her time as a law professor, she focused on issues of racial discrimination, ableism, health justice, and workers’ rights. 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 recent claim to fame and self-help is attempting to cover graying hair with pink dye.  Like her pet bunnies, all opinions are her own to take care of and sustain.


Thank you for your Patreon support: This month we’ll be paying a portion of the support forward to POC led and embedded organizations and individuals directly impacted by COVID19. 

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going and ad-free: Abby, Adrienne, Aimie, Alessandra, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Andrea J.B., 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, Catherine, Cedra, Chandra, Chelsea, Chicxs Happy Brownies, Christine, Claudia, Cierra, Clara, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Diana, Dick, Donald, Ed, Edith, Elena, Elizabeth, 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.x2, Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathryn A., Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kellie, Kellie H., Keshia, Kimberly, Krista, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Laurie, Laurie K., Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maile, Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H. (x2), Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Seam, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Siobhan, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tania T.-D,,Tara, Terri, Tracy, Vanessa, Virginia, Vivian, and Yvette. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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COVID19 — Skip the workbooks, teaching and learning

Ramadan Mubarak to many of our relations. Ramadan started the evening of 23 April and last for 30 days.

Artwork by Stat Phillips, from Amplifer Global Open Call for images promoting wellbeing and social change

Schools across the country, maybe world, have shut down in-person classroom instruction. Youngsters in preschool all the way up to graduate students in doctorate programs have shifted to “distant learning.” The shift to distant or online learning has been clumsy and uneven for many. Some children are getting a lot of online instruction while others are navigating this crisis with little to no support. I don’t say anything of this as a judgment on educators or parents/caregivers at all, we’re all trying to manage the sudden change. Props to everyone for making it another day.

A colleague and friend Regina and I talked last week, and she reframed education in this moment for me. She said “Sister, don’t worry. Your kids and mine will be ok. Just think about how lucky our kids are to have time to have cultural learning.” Regina is so right.

Cultural Learning, we all have a culture

With the extended school closures and stay at home orders, we have a rare opportunity to spend conspicuous amounts of time without the usual distractions of school, errands, gym classes, parties, outside meetings, etc. This doesn’t mean we aren’t sad or grieving about losing our usual habits. I talked to a colleague who said he misses his weekly ping pong game, another said they miss even the thought planning a trip since we really don’t know when traveling will be safe, my kid said she misses her comic club.

Today one of my kids had a hard day. She didn’t want to do traditional math worksheets. We hit a stalemate. It was ugly, there were feelings – big feelings by both of us. When we both calmed down I remembered what Regina told me, why not use this time to impart and honor cultural learning. She reminded me doing three pages of math worksheets isn’t going to get them ahead in life. The messages many of us POCs are often given and sometimes pass along is we need to work harder, be smarter, do more to stay competitive and to stay in the game – “you have to be twice as good, work twice as hard, be smarter,” to achieve what others naturally get. What price are we giving for this message? In my case, the price was a meltdown and stress. Part of the other message I want my kid to learn is how to persevere and sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do because it is life, but maybe a math workbook isn’t the way to teach that lesson.

Regina’s wise point is we use this time to build connections and to teach the things they won’t get elsewhere. We were friendly joking there are going to be a lot of kids who are picking up their home languages really well right now – language immersion at its best. Regina told me how one of the elders in her Somali community said this is the most time she’s been able to spend with her grandchildren. The time together has allowed the grandma to share stories about growing up in Somalia and the beauty of the farm and countryside.

Culture everywhere

I know at least one of you are saying “But I don’t have a culture, I’m white…” or maybe you don’t realize what your cultural background is. You do have a culture and this is a great time to be more mindful of it. My household identifies as mainly Asian, and is infused with a lot of characteristics and traits of Asian-ness, it isn’t just Asian culture we perpetuate. Part of our current home cultural learning and exploration is hearty doses of Star Trek reruns. We’ve been watching Star Trek together on Netflix, something we haven’t always made the time to do. We’ve also explored other things like LEGOs, pop Asian lit and art, and how to make the best of situations.

One of the most important lessons I hope my children learn right now, is the cultural teaching of group over self. I grew up in Hawaii, with a very Asian influence. Many Asian and Pacific Islander cultures value acting in the interest of the group, over self. (Other racial and ethnic backgrounds value this too, I’m writing about it from the Asian perspective since this is what I know.) While hanging out we’ve had conversations with or around the kids about how right now we can’t do certain things like go on road trips or why we cross the street when we see people because it is important to think of keeping us all safe. We conversely talk about how it is selfish for people to continue to do things like fly to Hawaii or visit other vacation spots, or join in protest rallies challenging the stay at home orders – and yes, race and exploring privilege does factor into the conversation.

Ideas for your home culture exploration

I totally understand if you feel overwhelmed and don’t want to explore anything new right now. I was joking with a friend that I haven’t done anything like what others are doing on social media during their quarantine – the stack of books I picked up from the library sit unread, the cookies I baked were bad (very bad), and I haven’t done Zoom yoga yet. Yet, if you have energy and want to explore your culture or think about how to be a supportive ally, here is the 2020 Fakequity Pledge. Many of these ideas are adaptable to the current COVID19 stay at home orders.


Thank you for your Patreon support: This month we’ll be paying it forward to POC led and embedded organizations and indivduals directly impacted by COVID19. 

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going and ad-free: Abby, Adrienne, Aimie, Alessandra, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amira, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Andrea J.B., 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, Christine, Claudia, Cierra, Clara, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Diana, Dick, Donald, Ed, Edith, Elena, Elizabeth, 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.x2, Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathryn A., Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kellie, Kellie H., Keshia, Kimberly, Krista, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Laurie, Laurie K., Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maile, Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H. (x2), Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Seam, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Siobhan, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tania T.-D,,Tara, Terri, Tracy, Virginia, Vivian, and Yvette. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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COVID19 — Centering POCs or Business As Usual?

Editor’s note: Equity Matters put together this great spreadsheet of articles by Journalist of Color who are covering COVID19. Support journalists of color by subscribing to their publications or making a donation to causes that keep them employed.


lisa-saldivar_si-se-puede_-hi-res-credits-01

Artwork from Amplifer, by Lisa Saldivar: In response to COVID-19, Amplifier launched an emergency campaign with top art curators and public-health advisors from around the world looking for public health and safety messages that can help flatten the curve through education and symbols that help promote mental health, well-being, and social change work during these stressful times. Si Se Puede sets a motivational and inspirational tone with the phrasing that means Yes You Can. Yes, together, we can stop the spread of harmful misinformation of all kinds.

Amidst the COVID19 days and weeks that blend together, it feels like we’re at the point where the immediacy of the crisis is slowing down and we’re settling into a new ‘normal.’ With this new normal it is time to shift gears and recognize POC communities have been screwed and will continue to be screwed unless we can slow down and do something different amongst the COVID19 rebuild.

 

As we shift to looking at the future where things reopen, we search for a vaccine, and life returns to some version of ‘normal’ we need to make sure decision making is accountable to those most impacted by COVID19 – communities of color, especially for communities with multiple identities of risk and need (i.e. disability, immigrant and refugee status, elderly, low income, etc.). We need to look at the next few steps and recovery as a way to build more resilient and flexible systems, and we need to do so with transparency and in ways that build trust with communities of color.

Decisions Happened to Us

Many of the decisions of the past few weeks happened to us. As individuals or as communities we didn’t get a say in whether schools and businesses would shut down. Decisions were made by those we elected, appointed, or otherwise are in leadership roles. I don’t question the decisions or the decision making for the time – during a crisis acting fast is often important and probably saved lives. In the ‘early days’ of COVID19 government and systems were scrambling to meet the new needs. Many were unprepared to shutdown on the levels that they did, or alternatively to have to ramp up new processes and procedures quickly. Groups that had advantages before would continue to be served, those without access or privilege were again without access and privilege.

As an example, if we think about the million of kids who are now at home due to school closures, we can probably figure out which kids are part of the digital divide. With libraries, coffeeshops, and other wifi accessible locations was further diminished. Currently, students with home computers and wifi are connected having video chats with friends, accessing new content, exploring new ideas, etc. Students without technology are being left behind again.

A friend shared how her school community is trying to help families connect to home internet. They are running into frustrating problems– landlords need to allow drilling of holes to place cables, the ‘free’ isn’t completely free, no credit histories, etc. The system to access internet services wasn’t designed for low income or immigrants in mind.

Why POC voices now

Now is the time to rebuild our systems and to build them differently. When we return to school, businesses reopen, healthcare systems stabilize it will be important to rebuild them thinking about those furthest from justice – not return to business as usual.

It is easy to say, in the fall when classes are back in session we know students will be behind so we’ll just start teaching from x-point. Instead what if we remade the school system to say “What do students of color need first, how has COVID19 impacted and shaped their last six-months” and start from there. Asking families of color what the last few weeks and months look like will yield different answers than those with privilege.

Students of color are experiencing COVID19 differently. For many, it may mean a loss of financial and housing stability. For some Asian children they had to deal with the stress of name calling, harassment, and racism related to COVID19 – President Trump calling it “Chinese-virus” led the way. Fear and stress are present for many POC families who’s family members are front-line workers at grocery stores, hospitals, child care centers, etc. These experiences will need to be attended to. If we build systems focused on the actual needs of students of color, first by listening then by acting in ways that allow for self-direction and determination we’ll rebuild differently. Students of color furthest from educational justice want a robust education system, but their asks and needs will be different then those whom the system currently serves well (white students). If we return to a system aimed at returning to business as usual as quickly as possible because it serves white people and those with privilege well, we will leave communities of color behind again and exacerbate opportunity and achievement gaps.

We need to start shifting the narratives now. Even now it is hard to find quality information translated into other languages, some do it better than others. In times of social distancing, people with strong networks and ties to communities are being served better than families who don’t have support networks or resources to be ok. Let’s rebuild differently and centering voices furthest from justice.


Thank you for your Patreon support: This month we’ll be paying it forward to POC led and embedded organizations and indivduals directly impacted by COVID19. 

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going and ad-free: Abby, Adrienne, Aimie, Alessandra, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Andrea J.B., 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, Christine, Claudia, Cierra, Clara, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Diana, Dick, Donald, Ed, Edith, Elena, Elizabeth, 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.x2, Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathryn A., Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kellie, Kellie H., Keshia, Kimberly, Krista, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Laurie, Laurie K., Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maile, Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H. (x2), Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Seam, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Siobhan, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tania T.-D,,Tara, Terri, Tracy, Virginia, Vivian, and Yvette. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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COVID-19 Cringe Bingo for Your Remote Work

By Carrie Basas and Erin Okuno

Are we there yet? Doesn’t it feel like this is the never-ending part of the COVID19 pandemic? To help get you through the Zoom video calls, working remotely, and just general blahs we’ve made you a BINGO board. COVID19 sucks, we take it seriously. This BINGO board isn’t intended to make light of the seriousness of COVID19. We also want to help point out ways fakequity is trickling or gushing in during the Stay Home Stay Safe mandates. If you have questions about any of the squares check in with a trusted colleague or friend (call, text, video conference — don’t show up at their house) to ask about it.

B I N G O
Assumes everyone has high-speed internet access and computer at home Admonishes or gives the side-eye to someone when their kid photobombs a video call Assumes everyone has a dedicated home workspace or office. Also assumes people have constant access to computers (vs sharing in a house) Begins the meetings with the usual, “How are you?” without any acknowledgment about what’s happening in the world Shows PowerPoints slides during video calls but doesn’t narrate or use the screen sharing function
Insists that everyone be available by video all of the time now (Big Brother), especially lowest paid staff Boasts about how their staff can work remotely now, but didn’t offer these accommodations before COVID19 Doesn’t check in about the feasibility or relevance of meetings set before the crisis — Business as Usual Work warrior brags about getting bored at home and going to the office even though they were asked to telecommute Publishes resources and alerts only in English
Gathers staff for in-person meetings when work could be handled through email or conference call Makes busy work for staff because they are afraid their paid staff needs to be directed FREE SPACE (Stay home if you can) Cancels office cleaning without inquiring about how to support displaced workers Does not caption videos or provide an ASL interpreter 
Talks about the joys and “freedoms” of “working from home” instead of acknowledging the stress for others trying to “survive a pandemic”  Insists that a pandemic is a great time to lose weight, take on a new hobby, exercise, or become a “better person” Suggests to anxious people that all they need is some “self care” with a $40 candle and some Gwyneth Paltrow face exfoliation  Reassigns staff, esp. lowest paid, to work they haven’t been trained for to justify keeping them paid Parental shaming for not working enough
Wants to see if you are wearing real pants during video calls Talks on and on during a conference call not realizing how much time they are taking up* Ignores equity and race related  questions during town halls, Facebook Live events, etc. Asks: “Why are you so tired?”  Uses the word “equity” to justify decision making happening to people of color without including communities in decision making

BINGO Squares in a list format:

  • Assumes everyone has high-speed internet access and computer at home
  • Admonishes or gives the side-eye to someone when their kid photobombs a video call
  • Assumes everyone has a dedicated home workspace or office. Also assumes people have constant access to computers (vs sharing in a house)
  • Begins the meetings with the usual, “How are you?” without any acknowledgment about what’s happening in the world
  • Shows PowerPoints slides during video calls but doesn’t narrate or use the screen sharing function
  • Insists that everyone be available by video all of the time now (Big Brother), especially lowest paid staff
  • Boasts about how their staff can work remotely now, but didn’t offer these accommodations before COVID19
  • Doesn’t check in about the feasibility or relevance of meetings set before the crisis, business as usual
    Work warrior brags about getting bored at home and going to the office even though they were asked to telecommute
  • Publishes resources and alerts only in English
  • Gathers staff for in-person meetings when work could be handled through email or conference call
  • Makes busy work for staff because they are afraid their paid staff needs to be directed
  • FREE SPACE (Stay home if you can)
  • Cancels office cleaning without inquiring about how to support displaced workers
  • Does not caption videos or provide an ASL interpreter
  • Talks about the joys and “freedoms” of “working from home” instead of acknowledging the stress for others trying to “survive a pandemic”
  • Insists that a pandemic is a great time to lose weight, take on a new hobby, exercise, or become a “better person”
  • Suggests to anxious people that all they need is some “self care” with a $40 candle and some Gwyneth Paltrow face exfoliation
  • Reassigns staff, esp. lowest paid, to work they haven’t been trained for to justify keeping them paid
  • Parental shaming for not working enough
  • Wants to see if you are wearing real pants during video calls
  • Talks on and on during a conference call not realizing how much time they are taking up*
  • Ignores equity and race related questions during town halls, Facebook Live events, etc.
  • Asks: “Why are you so tired?”
  • Uses the word “equity” to justify decision making happening to people of color without including communities in decision making

*Rewritten after realizing the original was insensitive. Practicing learning and growing about disability justice — Erin


Guest blogger: 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 her fashion weekend wear while hanging with her family and dog.


A special mention — Today, 9 April 2020 is our Patreon anniversary. Thank you to all 174 of you who help to keep the blog going — Mahalo. This month we’ll be paying it forward to POC led and embedded organizations and indivduals directly impacted by COVID19. 

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going and ad-free: Abby, Adrienne, Aimie, Alessandra, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Andrea J.B., 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, Christine, Claudia, Cierra, Clara, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Ed, Edith, Elena, Elizabeth, 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.x2, Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kellie, Kellie H., Keshia, Kimberly, Krista, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Laurie, Laurie K., Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maile, Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H. (x2), Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Seam, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Siobhan, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tania T.-D,,Tara, Terri, Tracy, Virginia, Vivian, and Yvette. 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).

Now is the Time to Start Planning for the Next Disaster – 33 Questions

Raise your hand if you’re exhausted from this disaster. My hand is raised high. We’re in the middle of something challenging and we don’t know when it will end. How y’all holding up? If you need to stop reading to go take care of yourself or someone else please take time to do that. We need to take care of ourselves.

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Image: Are You Prepared, 33 questions to ask before the next emergency through, a race lens. Water background w/ red banner text

In conversations with colleagues throughout the week, I’ve been trying to press upon others that we as nonprofits do a good job of responding to emergencies. It is our jam – we see a need and we’re the first ones to jump in to say, “We got this.” It is what we are doing with COVID19. When schools closed, nonprofit partners were on the front lines of asking “how do we get kids fed?” “how do we organize to help?”

While we are still in the middle of this current long extended crisis, I think we need to start planning for the next crisis. It might seem overwhelming to think about the next crisis and if you aren’t in a place to do that, don’t worry – stop reading and go watch Kim’s Convenience Store on Netflix. Save this post for when you’re ready.

The Next Emergency

We know there will be another crisis. An earthquake or hurricane will sweep through, wildfires will happen, a recession will happen (maybe sooner rather than later), a flu epidemic, etc. As a community, we will respond, but the question is can we respond smarter, more compassionately, and with stronger attention to racial equity. Now is the time to start shoring up our fraying systems to do better. Some of the questions directly address race, some don’t but I hope you’ll still consider the racial implications of all of them.

33 Questions to Prep for the Future, or now:

  1. Who do you trust at this moment? Why do you trust them?
  2. Who trust you right now? Why? (Think about race, class, language, disability, geography, etc.)
  3. Who do you need to build stronger more trusting relationships with for the future?
  4. Who’s basic needs are at risk of not being met because of an emergency, demographics of this group? Do they have your trust?
  5. What communication systems are in place to reach out to people who may need something from you?
  6. Have you invested in multiple forms of communication tools to be able to reach staff, clients, etc.?
  7. Where do you share information? Is it accessible to those who need to reach those most vulnerable?
  8. Does your team know how to reach each other in various forms of communication?
  9. Who has access to your social-media channels to share information? What languages do they speak?
  10. Do you know how families and clients like to receive communication (it may not be social media or technology-based).
  11. Can you reach your non-English speaking clients and staff easily?
  12. Can you communicate with your families who do not have technology access? Do you know who they are without them showing up at your school, center(s), or organization’s physical location?
  13. Should a family/client become displaced because of a natural disaster or economic circumstances, can you still find them and communicate with them during a recovery phase? Is there trust between you and the family where they would reach out to ask for help?
  14. Have you invested in translation services and captioning services?
  15. Who has access to technology? What are the demographics of this group?
  16. Who is paying for their tech access out of pocket versus company/organization sponsored?
  17. When have you last invested in technology update and upgrades? Is it evenly distributed across the organization?
  18. Who is working in public facing jobs? What is the plan for them when work stoppages during the next emergency – can they continue to be compensated? What are the demographics of this group?
  19. Where is sensitive client and staff information stored? Can you access it without physically going to the office?
  20. Who has access to sensitive client information? What barriers can be reduced to make sure people can reach those who need them in an emergency?
  21. Have you asked your funders how they plan on helping in emergencies? What are their plans?
  22. How can funders, including government contracts, be reworked to respond to emergencies?
  23. If you are a funder, what are you doing to invest in planning and response for future emergencies? How are community of color organizations included in this planning and funding response? Community of color organizations are often the first to respond to their own communities, and often the most underfunded to begin with.
  24. How are you practicing transparency before and during an emergency and recovery phase?
  25. If you are distributing resources, how are you being transparent with the process? Is it a community of color (including from recipients) informed process?
  26. Have you looked at your race and ethnicity client and staff data in choosing how to respond to COVID19 and other emergencies? It is easy to respond, it is harder to slow down and think through how to respond with race and ethnicity data but your response will be better.
  27. Stress test your processes, a.k.a. practice. Take a day to practice working remotely before an emergency (h/t James L. for this one). If you identify needs during the stress test, spend organizational resources (i.e. money) to remediate the problems, don’t put the burden on employees or clients.
  28. Do tabletop exercises asking what would happen if an emergency happens, what is the chain of communication to reach people. What are the lines of succession if one person can’t be reached?
  29. Multiple people within an organization should have relationships with communities of color, are those relationship in place?
  30. Invite partners, especially partners who work with communities of color, into these planning conversations.
  31. When was the last time your office practiced a fire, earthquake, storm drill? Do you know how to communicate with guest and clients who may be in the building but don’t speak English or may have a disability that makes it harder to understand instructions or physically navigate the office?
  32. How will you take care of the most vulnerable – kids, elders, disabled? What conversations are you having with them so their needs are known and to help them retain autonomy and self-determination during an emergency?
  33. How will you take care of yourself so you can take care of others?
  34. BONUS – Does your office have an ongoing adequate supply of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and snacks? Always have good snacks, and remember you need to rotate the snacks so feed people during those prep meetings.

This is a starter list, I could go on, but I will stop here. If you have questions to add, please email fakequity@gmail.com so I can track them and possibly add them to a future list.

Be safe and stay home.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going and ad-free: Abby, Adrienne, Aimie, Alessandra, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Andrea J.B., 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, Christine, Claudia, Cierra, Clara, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Ed, Edith, Elena, Elizabeth, 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.x2, Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica F., Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kellie, Kellie H., Keshia, Kimberly, Krista, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Laurie, Laurie K., Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maile, Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H. (x2), Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Seam, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Siobhan, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tania T.-D,,Tara, Terri, Tracy, Vivian, and Yvette. 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).

When Non-Disabled People Get Accommodations, Who Benefits? Things to Think About as We Work Remotely

By Carrie Basas and Erin Okuno

20200326_234650_0000

Laptop on white background with text: Disability Justice Things to Think About As We Work Remotely

Settle in folx, this is a long post, filled with a lot of important information. Read it, then file it so you can refer back to the tips in it as needed over the next few weeks of COVID19 stay-at-home mandates continue.


Many people across the country and globe are now working remotely. Organizations such as ours are working from home to limit the spread of COVID19. Carrie’s team has telecommuted for three years. Almost overnight, we’ve seen other organizations move to Zoom video meetings, conference calls, webinars, Facebook Live, and other tools to replace in-person meetings and to allow for social distancing (everyone stay at home).

What has been as an unreasonable accommodation for disabled people is now a reasonable accommodation for non-disabled people as stay at home orders are mandated and people juggle students out of school, wellness needs, and retaining their income. Are we all in this together now– disabled and non-disabled people thriving and embracing new flexibility for now and potentially after we’ve emerged from our COVID19 bunkers? With these changes, we must keep access justice centered for disabled people while also recognizing the mobile work is a privilege still for many disabled and nondisabled people, particularly those in underpaid roles.

Disabled people, now thirty years after the Americans with Disabilities Act, are largely unemployed and living at or below the poverty line. Less than 21% of disabled people are engaged in paid work compared to almost 70% of nondisabled people. This experience is compounded for multiply marginalized and oppressed disabled people, such as those who are BIPOC, LGBTQ, migrant, immigrant, or refugee. Stigma, social isolation, transportation inaccessibility, undereducation of disabled students, and other factors have prevented economic stability for disabled people. For many of them, workplace flexibility is a way to mitigate societal access barriers while preserving energy, attending to healthcare needs, and sharing their talents, yet employers have long feared diminished productivity and loss of control. For too long denying access to working remotely has been a gatekeeper to keep disabled people from being hired or retained. When the world returns to more “normality,” we have to ask ourselves what will we learn and what groundwork are we laying to include people with disabilities in the workforce, and how can we all be allies in working towards disability justice and equity.

In moving into this flexibility for nondisabled people, we need to recognize the ways in which our actions include or exclude disabled people. This list is not an exhaustive list; it is structured by disability categories, but many disabled people have multiple health and access needs. The considerations below aren’t just for COVID19 responses. They should become our new practices. We also note, many of these accommodations rely on technology and internet connectivity. The burdens of acquiring these tools should be on the employer, not the individual.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) Access

Video calls, Facebook Live, and other online meeting spaces are often not accessible to Deaf and often HOH people. Deaf people who have American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters with them in their physical workspaces might not have the same support now while working from home, for example.

What can you do to hire ASL interpreters or provide remote real-time captioning (called remote CART)? Have you encouraged people to speak clearly and keep their faces visible so that others can see their expressions to increase understanding and access? Please also remember some HOH people, especially elders feeling the stigma of ageism, are not out (haven’t shared/disclosed) at work about their access needs. They might sit closer to the presenter when gathered in a physical space but now, that’s an impossible form of self-accommodation. For these online meetings, be sure to remove as many background sounds as possible by asking people to mute themselves. If a cute baby or puppy crosses the screen, take a break to acknowledge that moment of happiness but get the others typing during meetings to mute themselves. And remember that everyone should be using a mic. If people on your team need headphones to hear, offer to place an order and have it shipped to their house.

What about those amazing videos you are creating now? Make sure you are captioning them, too. Don’t rely on YouTube’s captions or PowerPoint’s new features. Both are often laughable at best. Captioning isn’t that expensive. It can be as cheap as $1/minute to hire a professional. Just Google away or ask us offline for folks we’ve used; we aren’t getting kickbacks from referrals. The same access goes for providing transcripts of your podcasts. While your desire to do captions or transcripts in-house comes from a good place, remember that it takes a lot of time if you’re not trained in it, which means that you might end up generating something with lots of mistakes or not doing it at all.

I’m [Erin] guilty of this. As my organization moved to online meetings, I’ve had to take a crash course on how to get our recordings online and captioned. Carrie and my (Erin) staff helped us figure it out. It wasn’t hard but it did take staff time. Mindy, on my team, took the time to figure it out. She authenticated our YouTube account and fixed the captioning. Next time we’ll use a remote CART service for captioning. Dedicate staff time and money to this, pay for what matters. As an example, since we’re not meeting in person right now our food budget will be unspent, I’ll be making the case to our funders to reallocate dollars toward this and other needs now.

Blind or Low Vision Access

People with vision impairments need access, too. As presentations are moving online please keep in mind sensory and vision access. Recently, Erin checked in with a colleague who is visually impaired. I (Erin) asked if there was anything we could do as we plan for an upcoming online presentation. She said, “Today’s slide deck [referencing a call we had been on] were great. I thought, did they know I was coming? LOL.” This was a good reminder to me to use big simple fonts, uncluttered backgrounds, contrasting colors for graphs and slides.

PowerPoint has accessible templates and an accessibility checker to help you improve your practices such as by providing alt text and image descriptions. Remember to share slides in advance. Some Blind or low vision folks prefer to receive a document that just has the slide text rather than the whole PowerPoint. As with any access need, ask and be open. Many people, especially people with communication, processing, or sensory needs, appreciate time to preview the material.

Make sure that you are audio-describing your slides. Rather than whizzing past the funny picture of a wall of canned goods in the background– to which everyone else on the team laughs– narrate what images look like with enough detail to give Blind or low vision people the same experience as people who can see it. The same goes for your pre-recorded videos. If you’d like to watch examples of videos with audio description and captioning, check out these student storytelling videos.

Physical Access

Disabled people with mobility impairments or other physical access needs due to pain, chronic conditions, autoimmune disorders, and other experiences might appreciate being able to set up their home workspace to be more comfortable, but they also might be missing vital software such as voice dictation (also valuable to other disabled people, such as Blind folks, and nondisabled people), ergonomic chairs and desks, personal care attendants, and office support for physical tasks that they are now trying to perform at home. They, like other disabled people, might be stuck inside and concerned about safe access to groceries, pharmacies, and transportation.

Remember, too, that this time is especially fatiguing. Rather than swinging toward a culture of enforced hyper-productivity, acknowledge that now more than ever, disabled and nondisabled people need breaks. Provide breathing room and see what equipment or other assistance you can move from the physical office space to home.

Mental Health Access

Individual and collective mental health are challenged more than ever yet most workplaces still stigmatize mental health. Employees who were unable to share their experiences before this crisis are not more likely to seek support now if others are talking about “how crazy” they are feeling or “worrying about going postal” without social contact. Open the windows and doors to employee assistance programs, low-cost community-based and culturally responsive mental health services (with more needed), flexible scheduling to accommodate teletherapy or other supports such as pharmacy visits, and welcoming conversations about how employees are seen and valued for all that they bring. What we can learn is that there is no “normal” right now and that it is not a productive concept before or after this crisis. Rather, our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical health.

Also, provide flextime to allow people to take care of their mental health. Employees may need to shift appointments (e.g. therapist, support groups, etc.) due to COVID19 and social distancing. Many have had to reschedule or reorganize to keep providing services but through social distancing.

Cognitive Access

For disabled people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, training programs, job coaches, and other supports might not be available at this time– making them even more financially precarious. Others working in lower-paid hourly jobs such as grocery stores, cleaning, hospitals, and hospitality are at the front lines of exposure to COVID19. As organizations, we have opportunities to ensure that our communications are clear and reach all members of our communities– from disabled people to linguistically diverse communities. How do your processes respect individual choice and decision-making when others process information differently?

Realize that disabled people welcome you to this wonderful world of accommodations but many of us are struggling with feeling vulnerable, especially as others hoard food and medical supplies and we read articles about how doctors are ranking the value of lives to give treatment to the most healthy and valued— which means non-disabled, working, and younger. The social isolation that we felt before is magnified as public transportation becomes risky, doctors cancel appointments, and friends stop visiting for good reasons. We are staying home not just for us but also because we know how intertwined and interdependent we all are. Now, nondisabled people have opportunities to learn new ways of supporting people at work. When we are all able to dust off our desks and refresh the office snacks, hold onto what it meant to have your needs met at work– and keep extending that grace toward others.

Resources:

Rooted in Rights’ Resources:


Guest blogger: 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 her fashion weekend wear while hanging with her family and dog.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going and ad-free: Abby, Adrienne, Aimie, Alessandra, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Andrea J.B., 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, Christine, Claudia, Cierra, Clara, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Ed, 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.x2, Jennifer T., Jessa, Jessica, Jessica G., Jessie, Jillian, Jody, John, Jon, Julia, Julie Anne, K.T., Kari, Karen, Katheryn, Kathi, Katie, Keisha, Kelli, Kellie, Kellie H., Keshia, Kimberly, Krista, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Laurie, Laurie K., Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maile, Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H. (x2), Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Seam, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Siobhan, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tania T.-D,,Tara, Terri, Tracy, Vivian, and Yvette. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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White People – We Need You to Get Yourselves Together

20180412_235337

Picture of a tree and a log at a serene lake. Photo credit Erin Okuno

Editor’s Note: Persian New Year, Nowruz, is on Friday, 20 March. A new day. Happy Nowruz.


We’re in a global pandemic – coronavirus, aka COVID19. We’ll survive this, but how we do is up to how we behave. White people, I need you to get yourselves together. In the past few days, I’ve seen people come together, and I’ve also experienced and heard from friends and colleagues of ugly behavior coming out. Now is not the time to check that white supremacy and figure out how to be better community members. We will need to think in the collective interest to get through this as unscathed as possible.

What we’re seeing isn’t new. It may feel new because many of us haven’t experienced the shut down of society on this level. Some of us remember 9/11, our grandparents or great grandparents may remember the Flu of 1918, and other country changing events. These disruptions bring out good, but they also show where white supremacy, bigotry, and hate come through.

White people, you don’t have all the answers

COVID19 is happening quickly and changes are coming rapidly. With every new development, people are quick to give an opinion or feel like they must comment. You don’t have to say something just because you can. It is ok to sit back and follow others at times.

You also don’t have to tell others what to do. Resist that urge, please do. The other day I took my kids to a lake to get a little fresh air. An older white lady yelled at my kids to stop throwing rocks into the lake because they were scaring the ducks. It wasn’t her place to do so – the ducks were fine. I told her to stop and mind her own business, to which she gave me a look of “really you’re telling me what to do?” This interaction ruined our outing. She might do this everyday, but because of COVID19 and social distancing, I think we’re all more sensitive and need to remember to behave accordingly. If she had minded her own business and held her opinion to herself and resisted the urge to show off her whiteness we could have had a nice afternoon.

We are all trying to be helpful and find our roles to play in the new reality. Right now isn’t the time to make it about you and being the center of attention. Communities of color are also organizing. Many community leaders are hearing directly from families about what they need – food, money for utilities, jobs, and rent. These emerging needs are hard to deal with and we will need white allies to step in and help – our leaders of color need to be the ones directing it. They have the trust of their communities and know how to lead. Also, don’t make busy work for us. If your organization is still running or has remote staff, let them lead – don’t make busy work thinking you are doing it on behalf of serving the public.

Round up your own people

Right now would be a great time for white people to call in their own people. A Taiwanese American friend told me about being in an elevator with an older white couple. The man kept patting his pocket and giving him a weird look. My friend stood on the side to give the couple space. The man muttered “Chinese virus,” the same phrase Trump used when talking about Coronavirus. The blatant racism needs to be called out by other white people. The person saying Chinese virus to my friend probably said it to others who didn’t call him out for his racism. My friend didn’t want to escalate the situation so he let the comment slide, who knows what was in the pocket he was patting.

Along with rounding up people, can we also encourage everyone, pocs as well, to stop gathering and visiting with people. Now is the time to hunker down and stay home. Today I took my kid for a walk, we avoided people on the walk, but still saw so many others who were gathering with friends. I know people who are hit by this virus and it is nasty, do your part by staying home. Read all of those books by authors of color you’ve been meaning to read, listen to this list of podcast by people of color, get into a Korean drama (Heidi has many recommendations), please stay home.

While I’m on the topic of staying home, please stay out of Hawaii. It annoys me so much to read how people are seeing this as a vacation and flying to Hawaii (or other places) because all of a sudden their kids are out of school, they can work remotely, and airfares are cheap. Really, do you want to be the asshole who takes this virus somewhere else? That is peak privilege to say because you can, you will do something. Stay home for the social good — think about the collective before yourselves.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going and ad-free: Abby, Adrienne, Aimie, Alessandra, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Andrea J.B., 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, Christine, Claudia, Cierra, Clara, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Ed, 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, Kellie, Kellie H., Keshia, Kimberly, Krista, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Laurie, Laurie K., Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maile, Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H. (x2), Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Seam, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Siobhan, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tania T.-D,,Tara, Terri, Tracy, Vivian, and Yvette. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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Reading for Pride & Justice 2020

20200312_225231_0000Birthday Book Drive 2020

It has been a doozy of a week. COVID-19, aka coronavirus, has tested our humanity, resolve, and resources. Many of us are working remotely, school is out for six weeks in parts of Washington, and many are concerned for friends and family. I have no new words to offer about the present situation, except to say take care of each other and yourselves.

What I will share this week is the 2020 Birthday Book Drive, Reading for Pride & Justice. Last year my friend Carrie and I decided to celebrate our February birthdays by hosting a book drive. A third grader wrote in their thank you card to us we’re doing it all wrong — we’re supposed to get gifts on our birthday. The kid was thankful we birthday-ed wrong and loved the books. While it is traditional to get gifts for one’s birthday, we decided we didn’t need gifts for ourselves and instead asked our friends to share books by poc authors or about disabilities to donate to several public schools in our community. Our friends and family are wonderful and donated over 170 books, that went to two high schools and three elementary schools in South Seattle.

Why Reading for Pride & Justice – Why Books?

This year Carrie and I came up with a theme to help make this year’s book drive a little different and to focus the book selection a little differently than last year. We landed on a theme of Changemakers and looked for titles along these lines for our wishlist. The changemaker theme allowed us to focus some of the books and ensure we were digging deeper into finding new titles to share with schools.

Books by authors of color and books about disabilities are important “mirrors and windows” for children to learn about the world around them with compassion, empathy, and understanding. The books in my kid’s school library are well-loved and many of the popular titles, especially the graphic novels, are held together with tape and the spines so frayed the titles are impossible to read. There are also some poc authored books or books about disabilities, but it takes hunting to find them. By donating more quality books by pocs and about disabilities we want to increase the odds that students will find themselves in the books, or their teachers will have a new resource to teach with.

This year we worked to make sure many of the titles on our wishlist would be appealing to kids. We requested a lot of graphic novels by authors of color or about disabilities; these are often gateway books for many readers. We wanted to make sure we donated books kids would want to read, not academic books that would just sit on shelves unread. We aimed for diversity in race and ethnicity, disabilities, language, etc. For the books about disabilities, we prioritized first-person narratives, nothing that perpetuates inspiration porn, and we avoided books about death.

Image may contain: 5 people, text

A thank you tweet

A special thank you to our friends, colleagues, supporters, and family who donated to the book drive. We are so lucky to have you in our community and your generosity to this project makes it special. When we delivered the books to schools everyone we met ohhhed and ahhed over the books. Hands immediately went into the crates of books and people were pulling them out to see what was in there. Becca, a friend and second/third-grade teacher, said she didn’t even get a chance to shelve the books since her third-graders saw the books and started reading them.

We’re sharing the booklist so you can help to find new titles to read. Order these from your favorite POC bookseller, independent bookstore, request them from the library, and make library purchase suggestions if they don’t have it in the catalog. Most of all, share them with young people in your life.

2020 Reading For Pride & Justice Book List

Title Author Category (Notations are my best guess)
Lead From the Outside Abrams, Stacey POC – African American/Black
The Poet X Acevedo, Elizabeth POC – Latinx
One Person No Vote Anderson, Carol POC
We Are Not Yet Equal Anderson, Carol POC
Dear America Antonio Vargas, Jose POC – Latinx
She Came to Slay Armstrong Dunbar POC – African American
Never Caught the Story of Ona Judge, YA Edition Armstrong Dunbar, Erica and Kathleen van Celeve POC – African American/Black
Sosu’s Call Asare, Meshack POC / Disability
Brazen Bagieu, Penelope POC
El Deafo* Bell, Cece Disability
Super Sorda, El Deafo (Spanish) Bell, Cece Disability
Courage to Soar Biles, Simone POC – African American/Black
Emergent Strategy brown, adrienne marie POC
The Pretty One Brown, Keah Disability / POC – Black
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin Bryant, Jen Disability
Laughing at my Nightmare Burcaw, Shane Disability
I Am Enough* Byers, Grace POC – Black / African American
72 Hour Hold Campbell, Bebe Moore POC – Black/ African American, Disability
When the Beat was Born, DJ Kool Herc And the Creation of Hip Hop Carrick Hill, Laban POC – Black
Pashmina Chanani, Nidhi POC
We Gon’ Be Alright – Notes on Race and Resegregation* Chang, Jeff POC – Asian / Pacific Islander
Freedom Soup Charles, Tami POC
Major Taylor Cline-Ransome, Lesa POC – African American
The Water Dancer Coates, Ta-Nehisi POC – African American/Black
The Truth as told by Mason Buttle Connor, Leslie Disability
Eloquent Rage Cooper, Brittney POC – African American/Black
Firebird Copeland, Misty POC – African American/Black
Misty Copeland, Life in Motion – Young Readers Edition Copeland, Misty POC – Black / African American
Harriet Tubman, Demon Slayer I & II Crownson, David POC – African American/Black
Claire of the Sea Light Danticat, Edwidge POC
The Labyrinth’s Archivist: A Broken Cities Novella Day, Al-Mohamed Disability
The Day Abuelo Got Lost de Anda, Diane Disability
Mixed Me Diggs, Taye POC – African American
Never Caught the Story of Ona Judge, YA Edition Dunbar, Erica POC
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne POC – Native American
Geek Love Dunn, Katherine Disability
Milo’s Museum Elliott, Zetta POC – African American/Black
Freshwater Emezi, Akwaeke POC – Black
Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen* Florence, Debbi Michiko POC – Asian
Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper* Florence, Debbi Michiko POC – Asian
Like a Mother* Garbes, Angela POC – Filipinx
Rooted in the Earth Glave, Dianne POC – African American/Black
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess Green, Shari Disability
Real Friends Hale, Shaonnon Disability
Autobiography of Malcolm X Haley, Alex POC – African American/Black
The Truths We Hold Harris, Kamala POC
New Power Heimans, Jeremy and Henry Timms
Imagine Herrera, Juan Felipe POC – Latinx
The Reason I Jump Higashida, Naoki POC – Asian / Disability – Autism
Como Pez En El Arbol Hunt, Lynda Mullaly Disability
(Don’t) Call me Crazy, 33 Voices

start the conversation about mental health

Jensen, Kelly Disability
Remember Balloons Jessie Oliveros, Dana Wulfekotte Disability
The Magical Monkey King Mischief in Heaven Ji-Li Jiang POC – Asian
The Parker Inheritance Johnson, Varian POC – African American / Black
How to be an Antiracist Kendi, Ibram X. POC – African American/Black
Amina’s Voice Khan, Hena POC – Middle Eastern
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns – A Muslim Book of Colors* Khan, Hena POC – Muslim
when they call you a terrorist – a black lives matter memoir Khan-Cullors, Patrisse and Asha Bandele POC – African American/Black
Amulet* Kibuishi, Kazu POC – Asian
Miracle Creek Kim, Angie POC
Braiding Sweetgrass* Kimmerer, Robin Wall POC – Native American
Go Show the World, a Celebration of Indigenous Heroes Kinew, Wab POC – Native American
Inside Out & Back Again Lai, Thanhha POC
Bridge of Flowers* Lakshimi Piepzna-Samarashinha, Leah POC – Disability (This is from a micro-press with tons of wonderful titles)
Green Lantern – Legacy* Lê, Minh POC -Asian (First ever Asian Green Lantern)
March 1, 2, 3* Lewis, John POC – African American
The Year of the Dog Lin, Grace POC – Asian
When Adrian Became a Brother* Lukoff POC illustrator / LGBTQ
Ten Ways not to Commit Suicide McDaniels, Darryl POC – African American/Black, Disability
Merci Suarez Changes Gears Medina, Meg POC – Latinx
Where Are You From Mendez, Ymile Saied POC – Latinx
Redefining Realness Mock, Janet POC – African American/Black
Sick Kids in Love Moskowitz, Hannah Disability
The Proudest Blue Muhammad, Ibtihaj POC – Muslim
Proud, Living my American Dream Muhammad, Ibtihaj POC – Muslim
Fish in a Tree Mullaly Hunt, Lynda Disability
A is for Activist Nagara, Innosanto POC
Counting on Community Nagara, Innosanto POC
We Should All Be Feminists Ngozi Adichie, Chimamanda POC – Black
Sulwe Nyong’o, Lupita POC – African American/Black
Becoming* Obama, Michelle POC – African American/Black
Shuri, Black Panther Okorafor, Nnedi POC – African American/Black
The Remembering Balloons* Oliveros, Jessie Disability
So You Want to Talk About Race Oluo, Ijeoma POC – African American/Black
There There Orange, Tommy POC – Native American
Anger is a Gift Oshiro, Mark Disability
The Witch Boy Ostertag, Molly Knox
Hawking Ottaviani, Jim Disability
Wonder & 365 Days of Wonder Palacio, Disability
The Astonishing Color of Afer Pan, Emily, X.R. POC – Asian
Nya’s Long Walk — A Step at a Time Park, Linda Sue POC — Asian / Black / Immigrant
A Single Shard Park, Linda Sue POC – Asian, Korean / Disability
Parachute Parker, Danny and Matt Ottley Disability – Anxiety
A Different Pond* Phi, Bao POC – Asian
Patina Reynolds, Jason POC – African American
As Brave as You Reynolds, Jason POC – African American/Black
Jake Makes a world, Jacob Lawrence, a Young Artist in Harlem* Rhodes-Pitt, Sharifa POC – African American/Black
Juliet Takes a Breath Rivera, Gabby POC – Latinx
M is for Melanin* Rose, Tiffany POC – Black / African American
Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories Sakade, Florence POC – Asian
Gang of Four* Santos, Bob and Gary Iwamoto POC – Cross racial
You Failed Us Savage, Azure POC
Tea with Milk Say, Allen POC – Asian
Silent Days, Silent Dreams Say, Allen Disability
American Journal Smith, Tracy K. POC – Black
Pasando páginas Sotomayor, Sonia POC – Latinx
My Beloved World Sotomayor, Sonia POC – Latinx
Just Mercy, YA edition Stevenson, Bryan POC – African American/Black
Chicken with Plums Strapi, Marjane POC – Middle East
Yayoi Kusama From Here to Eternity Suzuki, Sarah POC – Asian / Disability
They Called Us Enemy* Takei, George POC – Asian
The Opposite of Fate Tam, Amy POC – Asian
I Love My Hair Tarpley, Natasha Anastasia POC – African American/Black
Guts Telgemeier, Raina Disability – anxiety
Ghosts* Telgemier, Raina Disability
Baby Sitters Club – The Truth about Stacey Telgemier, Raina Disability – Diabetes
My First 50 Tigringna Words* Tesfamariam, Elinor K. POC – Black
The Hate You Give Thomas, Angie POC – African American
Down These Mean Streets Thomas, Piri POC – Latinx
How I Became a Ghost Tingle, Tim POC – Native American
Stone River Crossing* Tingle, Tim POC – Native American
Separate is Never Equal Tonatiuh, Duncan POC – Latinx
Ojichan’s Gift* Uegaki, Chieri and Genevieve Simms POC- Asian, Disability – memory loss, aging
Trickster* Various authors POC – Native American
My Fate According to the Butterfly Villanueva, Gail D. POC – Asian Filipinx
Magic Ramen, the story of Momofuku Ando* Wang, Andrea POC – Asian
Stargazing Wang, Jen POC – Asian, Disability
Other Words for Home Warga, Jasmine POC
We Speak for Ourselves Watkins, D. POC – African American/Black
Voice of Freedom, Fannie Lou Hamer (Note: It has the n-word and b-word in it) Weatherford, Carole Boston POC – African American/Black
Home for Chinese New Year: A Story Told in English and Chinese* Wei Jie, Xu Can POC – Asian, bilingual
The Collected Schizophrenias Weijun Wang, Esme Disability / POC
Red at the Bone Woodson, Jacqueline POC – African American/Black
Malala, My Story of Standing Up for Girls Rights Yousafzai, Malala POC – Muslim
I am Malala Yousafzai, Malala POC – Muslim
Malala’s Magic Pencil* Yousafzai, Malala POC – Muslim
Yasmin in Charge* Faruqi, Saadia POC – Muslim
Krip Hop Disability
Animals — Braille Disability / bilingual (Braille)

*Erin’s recommendation

Thank you to everyone who supported the project:

Thank you Erica, Elinor, Ubax, Stacy, Makeba, Kristina, Tracy, Sherri, Paola, LouAnn, Rebekah, Chandra, Brooke, Sarah B., Hassan, Fred, Debra, Rose, Stephanie, Selma, Equity Matters, Heidi, Tina, Maggie, Leslie, Dan B., Renee, Hannah, Jon, Stefanie, emily, CiKeithia, Ryan, Ivan, and Emi.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going and ad-free: Abby, Adrienne, Aimie, Alessandra, Ali, Aline, Alissa, Amber, Amy, Amy R., Andrea, Andrea J.B., 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, Christine,Claudia, Cierra, Clara, Clark, Colleen, Colleen K-S, Colleen L., Crystal, Dan, Daniel, Danielle, Danya, Darcie, Dawnnesha, Dean, Debbie (x2), Denise, Denyse, Dick, Donald, Ed, 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, Kellie, Kellie H., Keshia, Kimberly, Krista, Kristen, Kristen C., Kristen D., Kumar, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Laurie, Laurie K., Leah, Lisa, Lisa C., Liz, Lori, Lynn, Lynn D., Maile, Maka, Makeba, Marc, Maria, Mary, Matthew, Maura, McKenzie, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Michelle, Mikaela, Mike, Milo, Minesh, Miranda, Miriam, Misha, Molly, Natasha, Nathan, Nathan H. (x2), Nicole, Norah, Norrie, Paola, Patrick, PMM, Priya, Rachel, Rebecca, Risa, Rise Up for Students, Robin, Ruby, Sarah, Sarah S., Seam, Sean, SEJE Consulting, Shannon, Shaun, Shawna, Shelby, Siobhan, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie O., Stephanie S., Susan, Tana, Tania, Tania T.-D.,Tara, Terri, Tracy, Vivian, and Yvette. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

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