Mourning & Reflection on the Violence Against AAPI Communities
In a time of continued turmoil, hate, and uncertainty, we are mourning the deaths of our fellow Americans who were murdered last week in Atlanta, GA and this week in Boulder, CO.
The shooting in Atlanta was one in a series of racially-driven acts of violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, which have increased dramatically in frequency since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As educators, we know that it is important to discuss traumatic events like these and make space to process the emotions that emerge. These discussions are a crucial part of helping young people understand the world around them and build the knowledge they need to change oppressive systems. Included below are some helpful resources we’ve come across for educators to hold space for healing in their classrooms and to build the muscle to speak up when we hear language that dehumanizes others.
Within and beyond the classroom, each of us has a sphere of influence to help change the culture of fear, hate, and violence in which we are currently immersed. We have influence to reframe the words used to demean and dehumanize people from any culture different from our own. And collectively, we also have influence to begin changing the structures and policies that hold oppression in place within our school systems and our society more broadly. If we each start with our own inner circle by practicing with those for whom we have care and concern, then we are more likely to fail forward to the change we want to see in our world.
Educator resources for addressing the recent violence against AAPI communities:
After Atlanta: Teaching About Asian American Identity and History (Kleinrock, E., Learning for Justice, 3/17/21) In this article, Elizabeth Kleinrock shares the data-centered conversation she had with 6th grade students the day after the Atlanta murders. She closes the article with a list of resources to build educators’ knowledge of AAPI history and identity.
Six Steps to Speak Up (Learning for Justice) This resource offers timely steps to speak up anytime you encounter issues of hate, bias, or discrimination. You can also download an online resource with lessons to Speak Up at School.
Mini Lesson: The Pyramid of Hate (Anti-Defamation League) This online module provides a visual tool to aid conversation about anti-bias, anti-bullying, and hate.
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