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 email@example.com.
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.