by Mark Van Streefkerk
A video storytelling campaign was launched at the beginning of this month to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage. “Our Stories Are Your Stories” (OSAYS) is a growing video collection of short oral histories from AAPI people of all walks of life in the greater Seattle area. Coinciding with AAPI Heritage Month, another goal of OSAYS is to help dispel harmful misconceptions about these diverse communities and create empathy as a response to the disturbing trend of anti-Asian violence and xenophobia.
Notable Seattle athletes, artists, actors, and community leaders like Doug Baldwin, Dr. Vin Gupta, Hollis Wong-Wear, Gary Locke, Lana Condor, Yuji Okumoto, Lauren Tran, and more have kicked off the campaign by contributing their stories — and OSAYS expects more to come. The oral histories don’t have strict guidelines but primarily explore the questions, “What does it mean to be Asian American or Pacific Islander?” and “How does identity inform your life?” Anyone from the AAPI community is encouraged to contribute. The OSAYS videos will become part of the Wing Luke Museum’s oral history archives.
Continue reading ‘Our Stories Are Your Stories’ Video Collection Celebrates AAPI Heritage
by Susan Davis
For more than a century, philosopher George Santayana’s warning has been often repeated: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, the day when we stop to remember the Holocaust, in which as many as 17.5 million people were systematically tortured and murdered by the Nazi regime between 1939–1945 throughout Europe. The largest groups that Hitler targeted were Jews, Slavs, and Romani people. LGBTQIA+ people, the mentally or physically disabled, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Freemasons, People of Color, leftists, and dissidents made up the majority of the non-Jews who were also murdered. There were others, such as trade unionists, members of the Baha’i Faith, Catholics, Protestants, Socialists and others whom Hitler considered “unpure.”
What does “unpure” mean? It was the main driver of Aryan race propaganda, which is a legacy of American slave-owning racist ideology. Hitler harnessed the concept and convinced ethnic Germans that they were the superior race. The sophisticated propaganda campaign had a profound effect on the German people and proved to be the gateway to the horrific genocide of historic proportions that occurred during World War II.
Continue reading Honoring Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day
by Fatra Hussein
(This article was originally published on the South End Stories Youth Blog.)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BLACK?
It means that people hate you for your skin, your Afro hair, your style, for the way you walk, for the way you talk, for the way you live. You are hated for no reason at all. Being Black means seeing those you love gone at the hands of a police officer. Being Black means starting to fight for your justice when you’re only a kid. But being Black also comes with the amazing stuff like strength and beauty and our food. It comes with also learning that our skin color is our armor that protects us, so even if the world hates, we love back. Being Black means when the world pushes you down, you get right back up. It means fighting and never giving up. Being Black means having this amazing power that helps you push through everything the world puts you through. Being Black means seeing the worst but hoping for the best. But most of all, being Black means keeping your head up no matter what and NEVER EVER GIVING UP!!
Continue reading What Does it Mean to Be a Black, Muslim, Oromo Girl?