[act-ma] Fwd: Starting @ 7:00 Confronting Anti-Asian Violence w/Michael Liu & Kent Wong

Suren Moodliar suren at fairjobs.org
Thu May 20 14:21:04 PDT 2021

Use this link at 7:00 Eastern to join the conversation:
How are Asian and Asian American communities and organizations responding
and resisting, and how can the broader community support them?
Invisible No Longer Confronting Anti-Asian Racism and Building Community

Reports of anti-Asian racism throughout the U.S. have surged during the
COVID-19 pandemic, but have not been the subject of sustained public
attention until recent months. The deadly March 16th Atlanta spa shootings,
along with a spike in lethal attacks against persons of Asian descent, have
brought increased visibility to a form of racism that has historically been
given short shrift in discourses about racism in America. The recent flurry
of press coverage, think-pieces, group protests, community statements, and
social media discussions of anti-Asian racism have drawn more public
attention to a number of difficult questions:

   - How can we make sense of the spike in hate incidents in the past year,
   from verbal harassment to physical violence–directed at Asians?
   - How are Asian and Asian American communities and organizations
   responding and resisting, and how can the broader community support them?
   - Aside from fear and outrage, in what ways are people being galvanized
   to build power and solidarity across differences of class, nationality,
   immigrant documentation, and generational status?
   - Conversely, how does the appeal to a unified Asian American identity
   conceal fractures between diverse communities and groups of people?
   - What connections can be made between the rise in anti-Asian attacks
   and the ruling class’s war-mongering rhetoric against China as an
   autocratic “Communist” threat to capitalist democracies?

Michael Liu and Kent Wong, noted scholar-activists and experts on community
resistance, will help us grasp the current complexities and longstanding
histories of anti-Asian racism. Alice Liu, an organizer active in Texas,
and Linda Liu, an S&S producer, academic, and trade union activist in
Massachusetts will be hosting the conversation. Join us as we explore the
role of structural racism, geopolitics, and Asian community organizing in
the making and evolution of the U.S.
Kent Wong is the director of the UCLA Labor Center where he teaches Labor
Studies and Ethnic Studies. He is the founding President of the Asian
Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, the first national organization
of Asian American union members and workers. Kent is also a Vice President
of the California Federation of Teachers, representing 120,000 teachers and
educational workers. Kent also served as the founding President of the
Association for Labor Education, the national organization representing
university-based labor centers and union educators.

Before joining the UCLA Labor Center, Kent worked as staff attorney for the
Service Employees International Union in Los Angeles. He also served as the
first staff attorney for Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Los Angeles,
the largest Asian American civil rights organization in the country.

Kent has published more than a dozen books on the labor movement, immigrant
rights, popular education, and the Asian American community. He is married
to Jai Lee Wong, a Community Organizer, and they have two sons, Ryan and

Michael Liu is a native of Boston Chinatown. After graduating from college,
he has been active on social justice and community issues especially
concerning Boston Chinatown. He was a founding member of several community
social justice groups including the Chinese Progressive Association Boston,
API Movement, and the Boston Rainbow Coalition. In the 1990’s, he was
executive director of the Asian American Resource Workshop. He is currently
active with the Activist Training Institute, working with young organizers
and occasionally volunteers at AARW and CPA.

He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy at University of Massachusetts
Boston and worked as a researcher at the Institute for Asian American
Studies at UMB until his retirement. He co-authored an interpretive history
of Asian American organizing, The Snake Dance of Asian American Activism,
and recently authored a history of Boston Chinatown, Forever Struggle.

*MAY, 2021*
7:00 P.M.
Alice Liu is one of the Co-Directors of West Street Recovery, a
horizontally organized grassroots group using rebuild and recovery efforts
after disaster to build community power. Alice is a climate justice
organizer who believes liberation of people of color in the US and around
the world, as well as building an economic system outside of capitalism,
are fundamental to a just and livable future. Before West Street Alice
worked at the Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation providing communications
support for labor unions in the Houston area.
Linda Ai-Yun Liu is a Lecturer of Sociology at the University of
Massachusetts Boston where she is a faculty union activist and executive
committee representative. She is a co-producer of Shelter and Solidarity.
Alice Liu joined a previous episode of S&S to discuss mutual aid in Texas.
Back in December, Linda Liu hosted a series of performances  with artists
and poets. See "Art & Resistance" from 12/3/2020.
Pertinent to our topic on Thursday, May 20, is our conversation about the
right-wing threat (held on 9/3/2020).
On Hiroshima Day, we looked at US militarism and its associated practices
of "othering nations" in service of its empire (8/6/2020).
On June 4, 2020, August Nimtz, Bill Fletcher, and Johanna Fernandez
examined our political climate and the manifold threats to democracy, even
in its current severely constrained form.
Mizue Aizeki, Joe Nevins, Alma De Jesus, and Avi Chomsky discussed
immigrant struggles as the first wave of the pandemic washed across the
United States (5/7/2020).
Read Shelter & Solidarity host Joe Ramsey on Richard Wright in the latest
issue of *The Nation*. See "Did ‘Cancel Culture’ Drive Richard Wright

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