“For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.” – James Baldwin
EdLoC launched in the spring of 2016 just as this country was experiencing another uptick in state violence against Black and Latinx people. In that moment, our community of Black and Latinx educators boldly proclaimed that we were stepping off the sidelines and joining other members in our communities in the fight for racial, social, and economic justice – that we were no longer focused solely on what had been the traditional sphere of influence and responsibility of educators.
Since then, our network has grown to include members of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities who have been critical to our efforts of building a multi-racial coalition and to helping EdLoC realize our mission.
While our origin story is something we talk about often with our members, it feels important to share it publicly with you as we renew our commitment to speaking out against violence that targets communities of color and as we make public to our APIA (Asian and Pacific Islander American) members, friends, and allies that our fight for liberation and our work against anti-racism includes fighting anti-Asian violence.
The most recent spate of anti-Asian violence, especially the recent events in Atlanta, GA which resulted in the killing of six Asian women, has once again illuminated a terrifying trend of racial pogroms across our country. As an organization of Black, Latinx, and APIA education leaders, we decry these racialized attacks and the systemic racism that animates them.
While the former presidential administration has, in many ways, exacerbated and accelerated racist aggression, anti-Asian violence is not new.
Our Asian community members deserve the ease of walking home at night, going to work, and leaving for school unmolested. And we know that when APIA students, parents, and community members are targeted, all the children we serve are made less safe. Moreover, at EdLoC we believe in multi-racial coalition building as a pathway to not only making our communities safer, but also to building the schools we want for all children and ending generational poverty.
Our collective movement building is always strengthened in community with other marginalized peoples. Our country saw this in the 1930s when Filipino and Mexican farm workers banded together for their rights in California. We saw this again in the 1960s when Asian people joined the fight for Black civil rights – a moment best illustrated by the relationship between Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama. Similarly, in order to build a future where Black, Latinx, and APIA children and young adults are thriving, we must do it together.
Systemic racism fuels anti-Asian violence in the same way that it facilitates child and family separation of immigrant children and the extrajudicial killings of Black children and adults in our country. At EdLoC, we believe it is our duty to attack these systemic ills and to make clear our commitment to fighting for justice together.
To our APIA friends and colleagues, we stand with you. We grieve with you. We will fight with you.