On the 19th of July, Jezuba hosted the final part of our Asian American Voices series. At this webinar, we were delighted to have Annette Choy, author of A Wrongful Eye, present to the audience about her work on the US criminal justice system. Through this presentation, she was able to detail the process that she used to write her book, the harsh realities of the criminal justice system that she drew upon for her book’s content, as well as the significance of her book in our daily lives when dealing with bias and discrimination.
Choy wrote the book over the course of a year. In the process of writing the book, she researched many historical examples of wrongful convictions and interviewed many people involved with them. Through this process, she realized that she had many misconceptions about incarcerated people. And in realizing this bias, she began to increase her understanding of the ingrained biases within our thought processes, and how those distortions can show up in the criminal justice system.
According to Choy, there are two systems of thinking: there is unconscious thought, where biases can show up because we’re not thinking through a situation, and there is rational thought, where we can think through these biases and counter them. It is important to keep in mind that we can always keep our biases from controlling our behavior. However, she argues, if these biases are not kept in check, they can lead to us developing a sense of “other,” where someone who does not belong to a certain group such as one’s race, class, or ethnicity is viewed as an “other” and is therefore more likely to be the target of unjust convictions and incarcerations.
Choy states that in the past 30 years there have been over 2000 exonerations for reasons such as misidentification, wrong application of science, false confessions, and the use of informants, during the investigations and trials. As examples, bite mark evidence and bloodstain-pattern analysis have been used to wrongfully convict people. “Experts” analyze these types of evidence to convince a jury of a person’s guilt, when in reality this evidence is very unreliable. In her book, Choy describes in great detail various examples of how these flawed and even criminal techniques used by police and prosecutors have wrongfully convicted the innocent. It is likely that bias is a large factor in who is targeted with these techniques and who is convicted.
After Choy’s initial presentation, she had a dialogue with the audience, where Choy answered many questions about her book writing process, what she learned from writing A Wrongful Eye, as well as her thoughts on bias and other issues within the criminal justice system. She was asked if she thought structural changes should be made to the criminal justice system that help counter unconscious bias, such as not letting juries see defendants or know what race or gender they are. Annette responded that she thought the most important change was getting people to recognize and overcome their own biases.
We are grateful to Annette Choy for taking time out of her day to have this discussion with us, and thank all those who attended our Asian American Voices sessions. We hope that everyone was able to take something out of the discussions that we hosted and learn more about how the justice system is far from being fair and unbiased.
As a future program, Jezuba is looking forward to hosting an in-person event in collaboration with other non-profits such as Good Good Eatz in October. Jezuba is raising funds to buy meals from local Oakland small businesses for elderly and unserved communities in Oakland.
We hope you will support our goal and join us in the celebration
To continue the discussion of Asian American and Pacific Islander contemporary issues and social justice, Jezuba hosted the second part of the Asian American Voices series on May 8th. We brought together three licensed professional clinical counselors and therapists to discuss their experiences as AAPI community members, highlighting their struggles and their advice for how to tackle issues such as discrimination. The stories that were shared and the suggestions that were given by the panelists and the audience created a genuine discussion.
The three panelists, Rebekah Hsieh, Cherry Aslarona, and Genevive Julien, all had heartfelt stories to tell about how they have navigated through the various expectations and stereotypes that have been thrust upon them, either from outside influences or from their fellow AAPI family members and friends. From these stories, a dialogue was held with the audience about strategies relating to the AAPI experience and coping with the current rise in anti-Asian American sentiments.
The key advice shared was to give yourself permission to feel. Make sure to express yourself if you feel hurt by what someone says or did. And make sure to feel empathy, not only for others’ experiences, but also for others’ lack of experience. Be open-minded towards others, and make sure to reach out for support because you are not alone.
The seminar ended with a Q&A session together with the audience, where the panelists answered the many insightful questions that were asked by audience members. One question asked was, “What would you tell your younger self to do?”, which elicited an extremely meaningful response: Be your authentic self, be proud of your heritage, and do not change it to fit in with others. This message is perhaps the most important one that was taken away from this seminar.
At Jezuba, we extend our warmest gratitude towards Rebekah, Cherry and Genevive for taking time out of their day to share their stories and advice and create some incredible dialogue with the audience members.
Please see the resources and ways to stay connected with the community:
California Peer-Run Warm Line, Based in San Francisco for
emotional support: 855-845-7415
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-TALK
Our panelist, Rebekah Hsieh, licensed professional clinical counselor, is open to
taking on new clients at her private practice, Day One Counseling, LLC. Please
reach out directly to Rebekah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Database for AAPI Mental health providers in all states:
National Alliance on Mental Illness article on mental health
National Queer API alliance
Oakland helping elderly individuals with chaperones
Please consider supporting Fund a Lunch [http://bit.ly/fund-a-lunch]. Jezuba and GoodGoodEatz are collaborating to support small businesses in Oakland Chinatown with yummy food for our Asian American elders and underserved community.
Join us on Saturday May 8th for a discussion on how to care for each other during these times of COVID isolation and rise in anti-Asian hate. On our panel, we will have professional licensed counselors and therapists who will share their advice and frame our perspective during these difficult times. Our mental health is important, and caring for each other helps all of us cope and build a stronger community. Please share our May 8th event with your network, and RSVP [here].
Over the past year and a half, attacks on Asian Americans have drastically risen. According to NBC News, there were over 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents in March 2020 to February 28, 2021, most of which were against elderly Asian people. Many of these attacks have been fueled by hateful rhetoric, particularly regarding the coronavirus, from individuals such as our last president, calling the virus a “Chinese virus” and “kung flu.” To address this growing hate, Jezuba decided to host an Asian American Voices series, not only to bring awareness to contemporary issues faced by AAPI individuals but also to teach about the history of discrimination against Asian people within the United States.
In response to recent anti-Asian American violence, Jezuba is “Asian American Voices,” to learn, to connect and to be empowered. Please join us in solidarity against hate.
Our first session on Saturday, April 17th at 10:30AM. This will be a learning opportunity with Edward Tepporn, Executive Director at Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.
Please register for the event [here], and share the event with your network as well.
Jezuba and GoodGoodEatz are collaborating to support small businesses in Oakland Chinatown with yummy food for our Asian American elders and underserved community with yummy food. It is a Win-Win solution! Donate [here]
credit: Peter Glanting
Please join us on Satruday April 17th 10:30AM PDT in solidarity against hate! Let’s support each other by learning and connecting to be empowered. Register [here] for the event.
JEZUBA JOINS 400 ORGANIZATIONS TO UNITE IN A WORLDWIDE VIGIL TO REMEMBER THE VICTIMS OF THE ATLANTA SHOOTING
Proud to Support #StopAsianHate National Day of Action and Healing
(President Joe Biden’s tweet)
Oakland, CA – JEZUBA joined a Worldwide Vigil on Friday, March 26th–in support of the #StopAsianHate National Day of Action and Healing--and to unite as a global community in paying respects to the eight victims killed in the Atlanta shooting, to promote communal healing and hope in the face of heightened violence that has traumatized the entire Asian American community, and to call for solidarity under a banner of anti-racism.
The Atlanta shooting, which killed eight people, including six women of Korean and Chinese descent, took place on March 16, 2021, amidst a sharp spike in anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States last year. The research released by reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate revealed nearly 3,800 incidents against Asian Americans, 68% towards women, since March 19, 2020.
“We were proud to participate in this beautiful ceremony that brought together communities of all backgrounds to find solace in our collective grief. Out of this tragedy, an opportunity to stand against hate and racism together. Inspired by this Worldwide Vigil, Jezuba is hosting a virtual event to learn, to connect, and to be empowered. Join us on Saturday, April 17th at 10:30AM PDT. We must stand together during this difficult time, and commit to supporting the community,” said Rebecca, founder of Jezuba.
This vigil was part of numerous events taking place on March 26th, which was promoted as the #StopAsianHate National Day of Action and Healing, by Asian American Congressional leaders and civic organizations, with the support of President Joe Biden. March 26th is significant, as it is when the first U.S. law on naturalization, the Naturalization Act of 1790, was enacted to limit citizenship to only “free, White persons.”
The intersectional program included statements from the White House, South Korean Ambassador and four Korean American Members of Congress, Andy Kim (D-NJ), Young Kim (R-CA), Michelle Steel (R-CA), and Marilyn Strickland (D-WA)—with prayers by religious leaders: Imam Abdullah Jaber (CAIR-Georgia),Venerable Seok-Maya (Jun Dung Sa Temple), Mike Tai (4Pointes Church); poetry reading by Jessie Lian; singing by Adelaide Tai; and remarks by Community Leaders: Sarah Park (President, KAC Metro-Atlanta), Georgia Rep. Sam Park, Soyoung Yun, LPC, Nsé Ufot (Chief Executive Officer, New Georgia Project), Martha Revelo, (Outreach Director, Office of U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock), and Julie Katz (Assistant Director of American Jewish Committee (AJC) Atlanta).
Visit https://326vigil.org for the full recording of the event and full list of supporting organizations, including all major Korean and Asian American organizations, and nation’s top leading civic organizations such as the NAACP, American Jewish Committee, Hispanic Federation, Human Rights Campaign, and even corporations like NIKE and Amazon.
Here are the statements:
Statement from the White House through Congressman Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor to the President and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement:
My heart goes out to all who are joining the Asian American community to remember the victims of the horrific shootings in Atlanta that claimed the lives of eight people. I know this is a very painful time for everyone in the community who are mourning this tremendous loss, including the Korean American community -- as four of the victims were of Korean descent who immigrated to the United States in search of a better life; and for the AAPI women’s community--as six of the victims were Asian women.
President Biden has made clear that he condemns the distrusting rise in anti-Asian violence and that hate can have no safe harbor in America.
Our prayers are with the families of the victims and everyone gathered today to grieve and try to find solace together. We will stand together against hate, against racism, against sexism, against violence, including gender-based violence—and stand up for justice, for love, for healing.
Joint Statement from four Korean American Members of Congress, Andy Kim, Young Kim, Michelle Steel, and Marilyn Strickland
Tonight’s vigil is not just a reminder of those we’ve lost; we have come together as Korean American members of Congress to demonstrate our solidarity in the face of hate and fear. No one action, level of government, or individual can stop Asian hate. But by coming together, and bringing allies with us, we can make progress that will keep our AAPI community safe and honor those lives so cruelly and prematurely taken from us. To the families of the eight victims, you have our deepest condolences. We can and must always remember their names and work to address the escalating violence against Asian that cost them their lives.
Statement from Republic of Korea through South Korean Ambassador Lee Soo Hyuck:
I would like to express my deepest condolences to the victims of the tragic shootings that took place on March 16 in the Atlanta Metropolitan area and extend deepest sympathies to the families who lost their loved ones. I would like to offer my sincere sympathies to all Korean-Americans and Asian-American communities in the United States distressed by this tragedy.
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea strongly condemns anti-Asian hate crimes which have increased recently, and reaffirms its support for all the efforts to uphold values of diversity, mutual respect, and co-existence. The Embassy will continue to make every effort to protect Koreans from hate crimes in cooperation with the law enforcement authorities of the United States.
Sarah Park (President, KAC Metro-Atlanta)
I join in grief, pain and anger for this senseless mass shooting. After a year of escalating violence, there is fear in our community. “Am I next” is what I hear. But do not be afraid. This IS our home. This IS our country. And we WILL stand and fight to protect our community, the vulnerable among us and the next generation.
Martha Revelo, (Outreach Director, Office of U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock):
Julie Katz (Assistant Director of American Jewish Committee (AJC) Atlanta):
Poetry reading by Jessie Lian
“Thank you. It’s an honor to be here. This poem that I’m about to read is based off of tiny details that I found about the victims, things that they loved. I hope that it honors them as much as it honors us and our collective experiences, our collective grief, and our collective yearning to be seen, be heard, and belong.
They softened sores,
They knocked on aches,
Pointed them outside, and said, “Get up, pack your bags, and go.”
They made space for us to breathe easy,
Flipped on the lights in these foreign rooms,
Clasped the edges of the kitchen counter like a prayer,
Like, “Maybe the stove could be an altar for my offerings,
Maybe even a sanctuary for my belonging.”
They patted dry the tofu,
Massaged these leafy immigrant greens,
Scooped up families of rice into a boiling new country,
Never thought once about how brave it all was...
Only that it was necessary.
They stirred the kimchi stew with a wooden spoon,
Then tucked it away into a little white bowl,
Like a parcel of home,
An envelope stuffed with the feeling of “full,”
Postmarked to everyone like it would never run dry.
Their hands made space for us to be full
And take space.
And their hands
They’d sometimes clutch the karaoke mic like a sword,
Slice their songs into the dark and glittering rooms,
Sang-shout their dreams,
Like, “One day, I will travel for leisure instead of survival
And I will live long enough to see my grandchildren,
Live life that I paved for them,
The life that I could never live.”
they rocked their children in an envious slumber,
Held their tiny fingers,
Whispered terrified promises of “I will take care of you.”
Their hands took care of us...
Held close everything worth holding.
Let us lay their worn and traveled hands
On top of their holy hearts
That they may finally hold,
And be held.
Let us stack our hands
On top of theirs,
A planet of embrace,
One collective push,
One breath of world back into their lungs,
Give them back the voice
For what they could never say.
Give us the voice
For what they could never say.
For us to make loud.
The sing-shout dreaming,
The ripping open of parcels of home,
The huffing and puffing before the breathing easy,
The soothing and the screaming,
The whimpering and the roaring,
The peacekeeping and the power-keeping,
The standing and the dancing,
The holding and releasing,
The quiet and the mouth wide open like ocean laughter.
The whistling of freedom,
Turn on the lights,
Sit at the table,
And hold hands.
One of the many crucial steps in finding a job is navigating the interview between oneself and the potential employer. To be successful, presenting oneself in a deserving yet authentic light is paramount. To help members of Gen Z best prepare themselves for this step in their job search, we dedicated the third part of our Gen Z Career Series to providing tips and assistance regarding obtaining and participating in interviews and making one's mark as a new employee.
Look in your bathroom cabinet, drawer, or peek into wherever you store your menstrual products. Ask yourself Marie Kondo’s iconic question: Do these items spark joy? I asked myself that same question a few years ago and the answer was a definitive no. So I made the switch to reusable period products. Now, I spend less money on period supplies and produce less environmentally harmful waste. If you’re considering making the switch too, this blog series will give you the unfiltered truth about menstrual products.
First up: Menstrual cups!
Menstrual cups have many similarities to tampons. You fold them up, slide them into your vagina, and they create a seal that catches your menstrual blood. Simply pull the cup out when you’re ready to change it (at least every 12 hours), dump the blood, rinse the cup out with soap and water, and then reinsert. In between cycles, you can boil your cup to more thoroughly clean it.