Northwest Folklife

Statement Against Racism and Violence Targeting the Asian and Pacific Islander Communities

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the eight people tragically killed in Georgia, which is one in a disturbing trend of escalating hate crimes targeting Asians and Pacific Islanders. While we are grieving alongside our API families and communities, we are outraged. We categorically denounce racism, misogyny, and hate in all its forms. We stand in support of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

Northwest Folklife is re-confirming our organization’s commitment to combating white supremacy in all its forms, from microaggressions to targeted hate crimes, to individual prejudice as well as the institutional systems that maintain white privilege and power dynamics that deny access and resources to BIPOC communities. This tragedy has made us pause and reevaluate our anti-racism work, as well as how we can move forward with intentionality and progress in that work. We believe in the arts as a powerful tool for social change, and will continue to use our resources to create programs that foster a deeper understanding and respect for cultural differences, break down stereotypes and encourage relationship building to combat misinformation and generalizations.

We, as an organization, have much work to do and will continue to work toward a future where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. By amplifying cultural knowledge we strive to combat ignorance and honor the traditions and legacies of those who have been historically underserved and underrepresented as a result of systemic white supremacy.

We are reflecting on the ways we can be a better resource to our API communities while listening to their needs and continuing to amplify their voices. We have also been reminded to hold space and listen to the needs of our own API staff members who have been deeply affected by the ongoing threats of violence. As our organization continues dialogues internally, we are centering BIPOC staff voices as well as taking bystander and anti-racism trainings.

If you are able, we invite you to support the following organizations, who are doing critical work in fighting racism and supporting the Asian and Pacific Islander communities: