Dear Colleagues and Community:
The Southeast Asian Diaspora Project (SEAD) is disheartened and angered by the senseless acts of violence, hatred and bigotry that took the life of Heather Heyer, injured many activists, and uprooted Charlottesville and other communities across the nation.
What is more troubling is our failure to address our complacency in being silent on issues like Southeast Asian deportations; the killings of unarmed Black people by police, and rampant hate crimes as a result of our country’s Islamophobia. History has proven to us that communities of color, refugees and those traditionally marginalized and oppressed by White supremacy will continue to be harmed and disenfranchised unless we speak up and take action as organizations and leaders that work directly with our affected communities. When damaging mentalities and manifestos of White supremacy are internalized in our society, our generation pays for it.
As an organization founded by and for Southeast Asian diaspora empowerment, we know what discrimination and violence has done to dehumanize each other and hinder our collective progress.
We find the rise of white supremacist violence and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies disturbing, and we strongly denounce it. It goes against not only the founding principles of American democracy, but all of our core values as Southeast Asian Americans.
We reject this mindset that fails to acknowledge our shared histories and our shared opportunities that come through humane and inclusive approaches to immigration, refugees, and socio-economic growth and development. We call on our leaders, policy makers and community builders to keep informed of the diverse spectrum of experiences that strengthen America and the world, and to reject those who would turn to threats and violence as a means of securing power and maintaining inequity and social disparities. Our shared future depends on our humanity. -Chanida Phaengdara Potter, Director of The SEAD Project & Chief Editor of Little Laos on the Prairie
We applaud the grassroots organizers, local organizations and institutions who are engaged in constructive efforts to fight racism at every level. SEAD affirms our commitment to stand alongside our allies to build a more equitable, just and inclusive society free from fear and violence.
-The SEAD Project and Little Laos on the Prairie
Little Laos on the Prairie is a program under The SEAD Project (Southeast Asian Diaspora Project) organization, a 501c3 nonprofit based in Minneapolis. Learn more: www.theseadproject.org.
(Feature Photo: Nitish Meena)