In response to recent events in Afghanistan, we are sharing this statement below by Torm Nompraseurt, APEN’s Senior Community Organizer and one of APEN’s founders, who has been a community leader in Richmond’s Southeast Asian refugee community for decades. We asked Torm to share his experience as a refugee in the 1970s —not to distract from the challenges that Afghan refugees face today, but to remind us that our own histories can guide us toward solidarity.
For so many of us in the Southeast Asian refugee community, the images coming out of Afghanistan last week brought us back to our…
It’s fire season and this year, we’re facing one of the worst droughts in California’s history. Fires are already blazing in some parts of the state and we’re once again preparing for mass power shutoffs.
Here are 5 things you can do to make sure your community is ready and resourced for this year’s fire season:
1. Assess your risk: Figure out what risks you’re preparing for. Potential evacuation from fires in your community? High levels of toxic wildfire smoke?
by Denny Khamphanthong, Richmond Community Organizer, APEN
I still remember the first time I learned about APEN.
It was a cold, drizzly September morning in San Francisco during the People’s March for Climate, Jobs and Justice in 2018. I wasn’t affiliated with any organization, but a friend had let me know it would be a great opportunity to do photojournalism and use my camera to document history.
I heard a thousand grandmothers sing their songs of liberation, I smelled burning sage from indigenous leaders, and I listened to rally speeches left and right from different organizations. And then, I heard…
This year, Californians faced unprecedented crises as the state became a hotspot in the global COVID-19 pandemic, historic wildfires drove hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, and heat waves pushed temperatures as high as 130 degrees in some parts of the state. The pandemic and climate disasters laid bare California’s deep racial and class inequalities as working class communities of color faced the greatest risks with the least access to stable housing, healthcare, and good family-supporting jobs.
Grassroots groups put forward bold policy proposals to keep people in their homes, stabilize our climate while addressing deep inequalities, and…
Seng So, APEN Electoral Organizer
2020 has been a year like no other. Millions of acres of land have been consumed by fires and communities across the state have been displaced. On Labor Day weekend, we experienced some of the hottest weather on record: Woodland Hills reached a record breaking 121℉. September marks the umpteenth month into a global pandemic that has shuttered us in our homes, infected people in the tens of millions and has laid bare the vast inequities that exist between working-class, immigrant and refugee communities and the rich. …
Against Islamophobia: How We Take Care of Each Other
by Ayesha Abbasi, APEN SOMAH Outreach Coordinator
“Please don’t let it be a Muslim, please don’t let it be a Muslim, please don’t let it be a Muslim.”
This was the only full sentence formed and repeated by the adults in my house the morning of September 11, 2001. The faint memories of calls coming in from my khalas (aunties) and nani (grandmother) in Pakistan, the conversations coming from my grandparents room at home, the words exchanged by my uncle and father at dinner — all repeating the same sentence.
We are youth and adult members of Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). We came together to fight the big polluters that are poisoning our air and bodies, and build the future our communities deserve.
We grew up around Richmond, California as children of Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants in majority Black and Brown neighborhoods. Growing up on the same blocks and going to the same schools, we shared many struggles and found solidarity in that. But our complexion and race gave us a level of privilege when it came to anti-Black racism.
We are writing today to call…
To close out #APAHM, we asked APEN staff to share their recommendations for books by Asian American authors. We’re excited to share this list of novels, graphic novels, poems, and stories with you — 11 in total, so you can read one each month from now until #APAHM next year!
Photo essay by Ayush Dahal
My name is Ayush Dahal. I am 13 years old and attend Cal Prep Charter School. I grew up in San Pablo, California.