Last week was a traumatic one for the Asian and Asian American/Pacific Islander community. The senseless murder of eight people in Atlanta, including six women of Asian descent, compounded the pain of rising anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination during the pandemic. EP stands in solidarity with our AAPI community -- those individuals on our staff, in our network of Alumni and Fellows, and in the communities and classrooms we serve.
Exclusion and marginalization of the AAPI experience is not new, even if we have little practice naming and integrating it into the dialogue about racism and white supremacy in America. As an organization committed to racial justice, it is important that we at EP acknowledge the pain and rage of our AAPI community members. We must practice the adaptive, inclusive leadership we develop in our Fellows and disrupt the typical silence around the AAPI experience, amplifying AAPI voices and making our own perspective clear.
EP's work is to build the capacity of leaders to transform education into a lever for equity -- ensuring the opportunity for ALL children to realize their full potential. Realizing justice for AAPI communities, and honoring their diverse cultures and full humanity, is part of that vision for systems change.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once reminded us that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The fight for justice requires leadership -- and action -- at all levels. As Chinese-American activist Grace Lee Boggs said, “We can begin by doing small things at the local level, like [...] looking out for our neighbors. That is how change takes place in living systems; not from above but from within, from many local actions occurring simultaneously.” To our AAPI community: we are committed to the structural change and everyday actions required to advance racial justice for you and for all.