We Stand With You: The Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander Community
Dear Trinity Families,
There are times when it’s difficult to know where to begin and end a message. This week’s murder of eight people, including six Asian women, doesn’t say freedom and equality in our nation of immigrants. It says hate, fear and bigotry.
After days of reflecting, one of the places I landed was the Trinity School: Episcopal Identity. In this statement, we note the foundation that we stand together on as a school:
Helping children discover that just as they each possess unique gifts, so too does each life have meaning.
A welcoming culture represented by inclusion and respect and an environment that helps children find their moral and ethical center.
A sense of connectedness to something greater than ourselves.
An understanding of how we might contribute to the good of the world through the way we live.
Seeking the common good for society, through the collective of individual journeys and stories.
The question, the struggle, the paradox is how we, as a community, actually live those values. How we build a bridge from our stated community values to violence and racism against AAPI people that dates back to the mid-19th century. This violence and racism has been shaped by economic imperatives of our country and political questions of AAPI people belonging in America. I don’t think I need to detail to any degree the economic imperatives and political questions such as Chinese railroad workers in the mid-19th century to the forced internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, to post 9/11 rise in violence against Asian Muslims and Sikhs, to the recent rhetoric of the “Chinese Flu” and the global pandemic. For a list of parent and educator resources, please see Resources Following March 16, 2021.
Sometimes, like now, there are no easy answers. I, or we, can talk about Strategic Plans; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Trainings; celebrations of culture at Chapel; purchasing more books highlighting AAPI people and culture for our Library; coordinating affinity groups – but at this moment in time those answers, and others like them, can actually sound trite, predictable, conventional, and perhaps platitudinous.
Instead, I leave you with this. Yesterday, I had a long conversation with Alison Park. Alison is the founder of Blink Consulting. Blink was founded in 2005 and has collaborated with over 100 schools to critically and compassionately rethink diversity, equity and inclusion. Our conversation was part of a longer conversation we’ve been having about Blink partnering with Trinity. At any rate, as Alison and I spoke, I told her I was at a loss, stymied, frozen in place on what to say about the murders this week. Alison said to me sometimes we get so intent on working toward a solution, we may forget to say to the impacted people and families:
How Are You?
I started with Trinity as an institution and our Episcopal Identity. And named the struggle, the paradox. And I end, for today, for our AAPI community members:
We Stand With You.
How Are You?