Just a couple weeks ago on day 87 of my running streak, I wrote the following entry below on my running journal; and today, running streak day 108, I am in that same exact place. More news on violence targeting the AAPI community has once again made me feel so nauseous…
Day 87 [2/25/21] Running with Intention for 7 miles…Today I ran with my body flooded with anger and sadness and the feelings of despair. I am overwhelmed by all the recent news and tragedies that are happening with the rise in violence on AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander). The thoughts of; “Are my parents safe?” “My family?” “My friends”, “Who will they target next?”, “Am I safe?”.
As we all know, this topic is not new. The systemic racism, the discrimination and racial injustices that are happening are not new. These are all deeply rooted.
These past few weeks I have had the privilege to facilitate group dialogues on the rise of AAPI violence. In these dialogue sessions, a diverse group of professionals show up as authentic as they can be. Vulnerable and present. I encourage them to share what’s on their mind with the other participants whom they have never met before. Awkward and uncomfortable at first, and then something interesting and almost magical happens.
When we share our stories, our inner strength is lifted by the feeling of connection and worthiness. And when they can relate to you, you give them power to also own and share their experiences. I hold this space for them in the hope that in that one hour, they feel validated and safe. Most importantly, to let them know they are not alone.
This connection creates an energy that drives my motivation to do more and help raise and amplify more voices.
Though our community may have been raised to stay humble and quiet as a sign of respect, this no longer works for us. I remind them, and those of us who are willing to do the work; that raising our voices will not be easy. It will be exhausting. It will take a toll on your body, mentally and physically. But if we can raise our voices together we can be a whole lot louder.
What can I do?
~ You can report a hate incident to stopaapihate.org
~Donate to stopaapihate or volunteer
How to cope?
~Connect with others in your community and talk about it
~ Journal or draw
~ Meditate or go out for a run