Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit

This toolkit represents the work and thinking of 15 grassroots organizations with Asian American bases living in the most precarious margins of power: low-income tenants, youth, undocumented immigrants, low-wage workers, refugees, women and girls, and queer and trans people. It reflects their experiences with criminalization, deportation, homophobia, xenophobia and Islamo-racism, war, gender violence, poverty, and worker exploitation. All of the modules are designed to begin with people’s lived experiences, and to build structural awareness of why those experiences are happening, and how they are tied to the oppression of others. By highlighting the role of people’s resistance both past and present, the toolkit also seeks to build hope and a commitment to political struggle. In these perilous times, it is an intervention by today’s Asian American activists to restore our collective humanity across our differences through a practice of deep democracy, by looking first to history and then to one another to build a vigilant and expansive love for the people.

The Toolkit is a project hosted by Asian American Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment, which is a California statewide formation whose purpose is to advance state politics, campaigns and other issues that support low-income AAPIs by building statewide AAPI civic engagement infrastructure and serving as a resource for emerging AAPI organizations. The founding organizations are APEN, CPA, KRC, and FAJ.

 

Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit
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Curricula + Resources

Power and Oppression

Power and Oppression

Goals:

  • Understand how power and systems of oppression affect us, and why they exist.
  • Understand how our personal experiences are connected to systems of oppression.
  • Expand our knowledge of how organizing can be used to fight against oppression.

Key concepts: Power, oppression, 3 I’s (institutional, interpersonal, internalized)

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Model Minority Myth

Model Minority Myth

Goals:

  • Learn about the model minority myth and its origins in immigration policies, capitalism, and anti-black racism.

  • Reflect on how the model minority myth hurts Asian communities and other communities of color.
  • Identify ways that we can take ownership of this myth and take action against the anti-black logic of model minority politics.

Key Concepts: Model minority myth, stereotype, anti-black racism

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White Supremacy

White Supremacy

Goals:

  • Understand the history of white supremacy and its role in the construction of the U.S.

  • Discuss our experiences with white supremacy, race and racism. 
  • Reflect on how white supremacy plays out today through the prison system, standards of beauty, and the model minority myth.

Key Concepts: White supremacy, Colorism, Implicit Bias

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For Black Lives

For Black Lives

Goals:

  • Understand how stereotypes and beliefs about Black people maintain a culture of anti-blackness.

  • Reflect on how anti-blackness divides us and prevents us from building power together.

  • Lay the groundwork for effective allyship with Black communities that acknowledges privileges and shared oppressions

Key Concepts: Slavery, Antiblackness, Implicit bias

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Race and Working Class Struggles

Race and Working Class Struggles

Goals: 

  • Understand the role that race plays in defining how workers and working class people live their lives

  • Introduce Marx concept of alienation to think about why white vs. POC workers have different perceived interests

  • Understand how white supremacy operates to divide and conquer workers

Key Concepts: Alienation, White as a racial category. Assumes some knowledge of white supremacy

Provided by: 
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Race and Im/migration

Race and Im/Migration

Goals:

  • Understand how national origin/race affect US immigration policy & immigration policy’s roots in racism & white supremacy

  • Review different paths to the U.S. that Asian immigrants and refugees have taken since 19th century

  • Understand how war, imperialism, and white supremacy intertwine to create exploitative migration conditions

Key Concepts: 1965 Immigration Act, 1996 IIRIRA, asian migration, refugee, migration is human right

Provided by: 
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The Culture of Anti-Blackness

The Culture of Anti-Blackness: Together We Win

Goals:

  • Understand how anti-Black ideas serve to perpetuate and normalize structural racism.
  • See how anti-blackness divides us and prevents us from building power together.
  • Explore where negative ideas about Black people come from in the United States, and in our Asian countries of origin.

Key Concepts: Race, blackness, chattel slavery, capitalism, colonialism, white supremacy, colorism, caste, hegemony. Assumes participation in prior workshop: Making Race and Blackness in America.

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Colonialism, Imperialism, and Migration

Colonialism, Imperialism, and Migration

Goals:

  • Explore our experiences with colonialism, imperialism, and migration.
  • Learn about migration as an outcome of white supremacy, and the connections that exist across race and ethnicity in the structures of colonialism and imperialism.
  • Consider how Asian American movement building can help to dismantle colonialism and imperialism.

Key Concepts: White supremacy, race, Orientalism, settler colonialism, imperialism, war/militarism, migration. Assumes participation in prior workshop: Making Race and Blackness in America.

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War at Home: The Rise of Islamo-Racism

War at Home: The Rise of Islamo-racism

Goals:

  •  Understand the roots of the rise of Islamo-racism in Orientalism, war, and imperialism, in the context of race and white supremacy, and how this is constructing a specific racial identity among those perceived to be Muslim.
  • Be able to connect today’s use of Islamo-racism to drum up white nationalism to other historical moments of xenophobia and nativism.
  • Explore how Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian people are fighting Islamo-racism, and why it is critical to see those fights as key to dismantling white supremacy.

Key concepts: Islamo-racism, white nationalism. Assumes basic knowledge of: Race, white supremacy, Orientalism, imperialism, capitalism, settler colonialism.

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