A Solidarity Statement From the Board and Staff of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists:
The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA) stands in solidarity with Black and African American communities and expresses our grief and outrage at the historical and ever-growing list of murders, which we consider to be modern-day lynchings, including the recent killings of George Floyd (46), Ahmaud Arbery (25), Breonna Taylor (26), and Tony McDade (38), and many more.
There is a pandemic of police brutality and racial violence throughout this nation that has been painfully amplified in Minnesota, Georgia, Kentucky, and Florida in recent weeks. It is a plague that has destroyed countless lives across four hundred years of deliberate, state-sanctioned assaults on Black humanity.
As a collective of Asian American theater leaders and artists, CAATA works nationally toward shared values of social justice, artistic diversity, cultural equity, and inclusion. We support the Movement for Black Lives, and all organizers working to end police brutality and advance justice for Black, Brown, and immigrant communities.
CAATA trusts and supports the demands of Black communities to recognize and change the racism and White supremacy that is embedded in our police and criminal justice systems, and in our political, economic, and media structures. We recognize that said institutions perpetuate state violence and criminalize Black victims. We also recognize that there are People of Color and White allies working within these systems to end police brutality and the militarization of community policing, and that includes police officers of conscience.
We are aware that one of the police officers involved in the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis is of Asian descent. We know exceedingly well how internalized racism affects Communities of Color, and that Asian Americans have often internalized and perpetuated anti-Black racism, and been rewarded for doing so.
We call on all Asian American artists, activists, educators, and organizations to proactively name, challenge, and uproot anti-Blackness and pro-Whiteness within our communities. We condemn all anti-Black behavior, including stereotyping that perpetuates the extreme racial disparities that existed pre-COVID-19, and that are being magnified in this time of health crisis. We vow to dismantle any and all Asian American complicity in systemic racism.
We also stand against the system of White supremacy that pits Communities of Color against each other. We reject the racism that leads to a backlash against Asian Americans and immigrants, due to the criminal actions of an individual police officer who happens to be of Asian descent. We call on all Black and Brown communities and White allies to stand together in this difficult journey and have each other’s backs as we navigate and overcome these traumatizing times. May we be directed in the knowledge that there is neither peace nor prosperity in the absence of justice.
Andrea Assaf, Art2Action Inc., Tampa, FL
Artists at Play, Los Angeles, CA
Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker, Ka Hālau Hanakeaka, Kahalu‘u, O‘ahu, HI
Leilani Chan, TeAda Productions, Los Angeles, CA
Tisa Chang, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, New York, NY
Soriya Chum, New York, NY
Snehal Desai, East West Players, Los Angeles, CA
Ariel Estrada, Leviathan Lab, New York, NY
Leslie Ishii, Perseverance Theatre, Juneau/Anchorage, Alaska
Malik Gillani and Jamil Khoury, Silk Road Rising, Chicago, IL
Moses Goods, Honolulu, HI
Victor Malana Maog, Second Generation, New York, NY
Andi Meyer, Tradewind Arts, Kansas City, MO
Meena Natarajan, Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis, MN
Joan Osato, Youth Speaks, San Francisco, CA
Roger W. Tang, Pork Filled Productions, Seattle, WA
Chay Yew, Chicago IL
Here is a list of resources to support movements for justice, to donate, take action, or to learn more. These are not endorsements, but links to explore for further information:
- Black Lives Matter
- To the Floyd family GoFundMe campaign
- To Black Visions Collective, organizing for Black and collective liberation in MN
- To Reclaim The Block, organizing Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget
- To Northstar Health Collective, medics at the protests
- To MIGIZI, a circle of support that nurtures the development of Native American youth. Their building was burned and they will rebuild.
- To Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha, an organization of workers and for workers.
- To Unicorn Riot, for providing critical livestreams of the protests
- List of How to Support Protestors in Every City by Paper
- To the people of color-led and multi-racial groups on the ground in Georgia where Ahmaud Arbery was murdered: Women on the Rise, Black Voters Matter, New Georgia Project, Southerners on New Ground, and the Southern Center for Human Rights
- Call and/or email Minnesota decision-makers to demand justice.
- Text “FLOYD” to 55156 in support of Color of Change’s demand that the officers who killed #GeorgeFloyd are charged with murder.
- Change.Org’s “Justice for George Floyd” petition.
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- (Look for a link to support Police Abolition Work)
- Black and Asian American Feminist Solidarities reading list from Black Women Radicals and Asian American Feminist Collective
- Atlanta Solidarity Fund – atlsolidarity.org
- Brooklyn Community Bail Fund – brooklynbailfund.org
- Philadelphia Community Bail Fund – https://www.phillybailout.com
- Peoples City Council Freedom Fund (Los Angeles) – www.gofundme.com/f/peoples-city-council-ticket-fund
- Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative (Minneapolis) – knowyourrightscamp.com/legal
- Richmond Community Bail Fund – rvabailfund.org
- Colorado Freedom Fund (Denver) – fundly.com/coloradofreedom
- The Bail Project (National) – givelively.org/donate/the-bail-project
- Missouri Black Bail Relief Fund
- Request Assistance (follow this link if you or someone you know is in police custody): Request
- Kansas City Resource list – https://tinyurl.com/y7gcmwng