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Fight for hope, fight for justice, fight for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community

Black and white photo of a Chinese grandmother sitting on a bench and smiling at something off to the side. She's holding a young Chinese boy who reaches towards it. And a young Chinese girl holds on to Grandma's arm.
Grandma (#13) by Dean Wong, part of the Seattle Civic Art Collection, purchased with Seattle City Light 1% for Art funds

We are a society built on the premise of freedom and the reality of racism; ingenuity realized at the cost of freedom and through the labor of Blacks, Asians, immigrants, Native Americans, Latinx and countless others. 

As we recognize the horrific events that took place in Atlanta, GA last month, and the terror and trauma that has been inflicted on the AAPI community with an egregious uptick in anti-Asian violence, we must also recognize the death of another unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright, this past weekend. Instead of letting this latest violence distract us from uplifting our AAPI community, we must remember that the center of both of these things is white supremacy, and our intentionality in stamping out that scourge.  

Our BIPOC community has contributed so much to our country and in this time of anti-Asian hate we must stand up, make change and say no more. We recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) history is our history, that AAPI dreams are our dreams and that AAPI struggles are our struggles. 

Asian American and Pacific Islanders are our neighbors, co-workers, friends, family, aunties, and elders. ARTS stands in solidarity with our AAPI staff to create a better city, celebrate our diversity, honor our ancestors and support our AAPI community. 

We are taking this time to amplifying the words of our AAPI staff below:  

We demand our colleagues commit to interrupting and dismantling the structures and culture of institutional silence, neglect and dismissal, and implore you to denounce anti-Asian violence and sentiment in the strongest possible terms.  

History has shown us repeatedly that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are targeted scapegoats particularly in times of national crisis.  

Our elders are being viciously attacked on the streets during the pandemic while onlookers turn their backs and shut the door to their plea for help. Seven women, of whom six are of Asian heritage, were gunned down in Atlanta.  

This is not the first or the last we have seen of Asians being scapegoated for economic downturns and job losses, disease, our loyalty questioned, being perceived as forever foreigners, our presence deemed as yellow peril invasion, our women being exoticized by orientalist fantasies, and our monolithic portrayal as model minorities. We know that such portrayals are used to pit us against our fellow Black and Brown communities and are an ongoing manifestation of white supremacy culture. 

Invest in and support cultural organizations that have a proven history of ANTI-Racismincluding but not limited to:  

Bolster the work of the following organizations and many others as it relates to healing, public safety, and community social cohesion through the arts:  

Support emergent, mid-career, and established art-ivists who are already doing the work of protecting their communities from displacement, gentrification, and now violence at the doorsteps of their communities. 

Silence and inaction continue the legacy of racism. If you are interested in ways you can make a difference, consider taking the following actions: 

The Office of Arts & Culture is working towards addressing these essential needs. We invite you to join us in making our city inclusive and welcoming to all, and dismantling the systems that seek to divide us, and distract from the root cause of white supremacy.