NWSA Condemns the Attack on the People of Ukraine

The National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) takes seriously our charge to never be silent in the face of evil. We understand that we do not have the luxury to sit by while countries are attacked, war is being waged, and women and children are being killed. As Audre Lorde taught us, we know that our silence will not protect us and, as Angela Davis reminds us, if they come for freedom seekers around the world in the morning, they will come for us in the night. Freedom and struggle are international issues, and solidarity is a feminist issue for us. As feminists, activists, teachers, students, and scholars, we will never be silent in the face of violence, terror, destruction, and oppression, which means that we will always speak up against injustice and for freedom, no matter the cost. Herstory has her eye on us and will record and remember where we stood, when we stood and why we stood.

As we are watching what is happening in Ukraine, we are moved to remind the world that we have stood and will continue to stand in solidarity with people worldwide who are fighting for their sovereignty. We stand with the people of Ukraine: the grandmothers who are picking up arms, the grandfathers who are donning their bare thread uniforms, Ukrainians who are either physically or financially unable to flee the country, and the mothers and fathers who are stepping (once again) in front of their children to take the bullet, to bear the weight, and to be a living witness and testimony to the truth. We stand in solidarity with Ukrainian women, feminists, the LGBTQ+ community, and all anti-war activists. We strongly condemn Russia’s military assault on Ukraine. We urge our President and nations worldwide to continue to speak out against President Putin’s attempt to use historical distortions and lies to justify this act of aggression. We support the economic sanctions and urge the surrounding countries to welcome Ukrainian citizens and open their doors to African students fleeing Ukraine in search of safety. In the midst of this international atrocity, it is important to add that Black people in Ukraine face two attacks: from President Putin’s military assault and from white Europeans who are driven by racism and xenophobia. Finally, we must also recognize and speak out against the longstanding rejection of religious minorities in Europe as experienced by Muslim and Jewish communities.
In moments like this, where there is some uncertainty about how you can help, the National Women’s Studies Association believes that the first step is not to look away but to instead lean into this moment and learn—about the history of Ukraine, including the Holodomor and the Domestic Violence (Prevention) Act 2001; about what is currently happening in Ukraine, including both the military attacks and how race has become a barrier for Black people who are trying to flee the country—and then determine how you can use your time, talents, and treasure to help. This is (another) moment where we must speak out into the wind with a loud collective voice and say that Solidarity and Sovereignty are Feminist Issues. Our voices have power. Our words have power. Our choices have consequences. We support the right of the Ukrainian people to have freedom and peace (not just as the absence of war but as the presence of justice). We must stand together and not be moved. We end by holding fast to and being challenged by the words of Harry Moore, who once said, “No bomb can kill the dreams I hold, for freedom never dies.” For us, we understand that freedom has no boundaries or borders, and therefore until all of us are free, none of us are free.

In solidarity,
National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)

Not Here Not Anywhere: Community Statement and Demands in Response to LongBeach’s Temporary Facility forUnaccompanied Migrant Children

Community Statement and Demands in Response to Long Beach’s Temporary Facility for Unaccompanied Migrant Children

On the evening of April 6th, the Long Beach City Council voted to contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and allow the opening of a facility for unaccompanied immigrant children at the Long Beach Convention Center. The undersigned organizations do not support the expansion of detention facilities, the incarceration of children, and the continued criminalization of immigrants.

We must remember that the Biden administration and those who have preceded them have failed to address the root causes of children arriving unaccompanied. Among these causes is the Biden administration’s continued implementation of the Trump-era Title 42 policy, which allows border officials to immediately expel migrant families and adults without any chance to seek asylum or other relief. This is a continuation of imperialist policies that drive people away from their country of origin and treat them inhumanly once they arrive. Continuing to expel adults and families while accepting unaccompanied minors forces many migrant families to make an impossible decision when seeking safety in the United States. We must also acknowledge the intersectionality that exists in this issue, that immigration is the overarching issue, and that Black immigrants and Afro-Latino immigrants face additional barriers of anti-Blackness in the navigation of these systems and once they arrive in this country. We also must acknowledge the current increase of violence against our API community members. Additional barriers exist along class lines. All of this stems from white supremacy as a root cause. We stand firmly against this in all of its forms.

As the City of Long Beach enters into the contract, we demand the following from local and federal elected officials:

1. We demand transparency. The Long Beach community should know the terms, conditions, and expiration dates of the contracts made between the City of Long Beach and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We should also know the names of the agencies (non-profit, public, and private) who will be responsible for providing resources and services to the children.

2. We demand that this facility be temporary and be closed within 90 days. These types of facilities are a band-aid solution to a bigger problem. We cannot allow for this facility to house children indefinitely and to continue the pattern of family separation and trauma.

3. We demand all children to be reunited with their families in an expeditious manner. All the children and youth must be reunited in a timely manner with their families or sponsors in the U.S. The longer a child is kept away from loved ones, their mental and physical health is gravely impacted. Pia Rebello Britto, the chief of early childhood development for UNICEF, said children without a responsive caregiver rarely have anyone to comfort them. These children lose out on stimulating activities to promote how they think and learn, their health and happiness. Out of fear and anxiety, their stress hormone cortisol surges, obstructs new neural connections and breaks down old ones, “causing long-term psychological and physical damage. It’s incredibly hard to bring a child back from that,” Britto said. “There are no second chances.”

4. We demand that this facility does not increase ICE or police presence in our communities.

5. We demand that this facility ensure the safety of all unaccompanied immigrant children. We must ensure that children are cared for, that COVID protocols are strictly adhered to, and that safeguards against abuse, exploitation, and trafficking are created with the consultation of experts and strictly followed by personnel.

6. We demand that our elected city leaders act in a manner consistent with that of a declared sanctuary city and unapologetically condemn the U.S. policies that have led to the arrival of unaccompanied minors at our nation’s border.

In alignment with national partners and allies, we demand the following from local and federal elected officials:

1. End the practice of holding children in large scale influx facilities, including military bases.

2. Rescind the Title 42 border closure and fully restore access to asylum at our borders, including at ports of entry and ensuring unaccompanied children have immediate and consistent access to legal counsel, child advocates and interpretation services.

3. In situations where children arrive without a parent or legal guardian, establish a process with the Department of Health and Human Services at the border to more quickly identify and vet family or sponsors to whom children can be released without the use of influx facilities.

4. In cases where a sponsor cannot be quickly identified within 72 hours, prioritize small scale, non-restrictive settings for unaccompanied children in facilities licensed for childcare and run by trusted community based non profits.

These types of facilities should not be seen as a model to be replicated by other cities because they are being used to make detention centers more palatable. Welcoming asylum seekers and immigrants should mean removing anti-immigrant policies that have exacerbated an already unjust immigration system and prevented family reunification for millions of immigrants in this country. Welcoming asylum seekers, refugees, and immigrants should also mean addressing the political, social, and economic conditions that created and exacerbated these crises in the first place, imperialist policies are undeniably the root cause of these issues.

The undersigned organizations will continue to advocate for the release of all immigrants under the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We do not support these centers becoming long term or the new norm, family reunification must be prioritized. The undersigned Long Beach based organizations will work to connect families and the children who stay in Long Beach to the Long Beach Justice Fund and ensure they have access to free legal representation.

We will continue to advocate for the abolition of detention centers as a part of the larger carceral system that harms all of us. We will continue to fight for the reunification of all immigrant families.

Signed:

American Indian Movement So Cal

Anakbayan Long Beach

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles

Asians 4 Black Lives

Bend The Arc: Jewish Action, Bay Area

Bend The Arc: Jewish Action, Southern California

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Black Lives Matter Long Beach

California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice

California Coalition for Women Prisoners

California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice

California Immigrant Policy Center

California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance

Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants

Central American Resource Center of California

Child Leader Project

Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice

Comunidades Unidas en una Voz

Detention Watch Network

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement

Freedom for Immigrants

Filipino Migrant Center

GABRIELA South Bay

Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Khmer Girls in Action

Koreatown Popular Assembly

Law Students for Immigrant Justice at UCLA

Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community

Long Beach Forward

Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition

Long Beach Residents Empowered

Long Beach Sacred Resistance

Long Beach Southeast Asian Anti-Deportation Collective

Long Beach Tenants Union

Me Too Survivors’ March International

Mujeres Unidas y Activas

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild

Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala

Nikkei Progressives

NorCal Resist

Occupy ICE LA

Orange County Equality Coalition

Orange County Justice Fund

Orange County Rapid Response Network

Public Counsel

Puente Latino Association

Resilience Orange County

Santa Barbara County Immigrant Legal Defense Center

Students Deserve

Vigilant Love

WGSS Statement Condemning Anti-Asian Racism and Violence

The Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) stands with the victims, survivors, families, and communities that have been the target of anti-Asian racist violence. The latest mass shooting targeting Asian-run massage parlors in Atlanta is a reminder that such violence cannot be viewed in isolation but as a part of a broader historical pattern of white nationalist supremacy, military-sanctioned violence, and patriarchal imperialist constructions of racialized others mapped onto Asian bodies and communities.

The proliferation of racist rhetoric linking the global COVID-19 pandemic to Asian communities exacerbates hate crimes and violence. Stop AAPI Hate received 3,800 reports of anti-Asian incidents between March 2020-February 2021. Women report hate incidents 2.3 times more than men and businesses are the primary site of discrimination (35.4%), followed by public streets (25.3%), and public parks (9.8%).

WGSS rejects the framing of the Atlanta mass murder as resulting from a “bad day” and “sexual addiction” and urges a transnational feminist analysis that centers the intersection of US imperialism, the fetishization and hypersexualization of Asian women, and the racialization of the COVID-19 pandemic. The positioning of Asian Americans as foreigners, outsiders, deviants, and criminals in combination with stereotyping Asian women as “Lotus Blossom/Dragon Lady” dominate popular consciousness and obscure much of the racialized and gendered trauma that informs Asian Americans’ experiences. The commercial sex industry that has developed around U.S. military bases worldwide (e.g., Vietnam, South Korea, Philippines, Japan) has fueled the racist and misogynist stereotypes about women in Asian communities and has exacerbated the trafficking of women and girls into this industry.

As anti-racist feminists, educators, and scholars, we join the call for a transformative justice response that acknowledges the racialized and sexualized violence against all vulnerable bodies, including those who identify as women, trans, GNC, queer, elderly, poor, immigrants, sex workers, and undocumented. We do not support increased policing as a solution to this racist and misogynist violence. We are deeply committed to addressing all forms of systemic racism and injustice by building multiracial solidarity and supporting community-based organizations’ efforts.

Suggested Readings:

“Lotus Blossoms Don’t Bleed: Images of Asian Women” by Renee Tajima (Making Waves: An Anthology of Writing By and About Asian American Women, Boston, Beacon Press, 1989).

 

TAKE ACTION: BLACK LIVES MATTER and Protest Resources

TAKE ACTION: BLACK LIVES MATTER and Protest Resources:

 

 
 
Created by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein: Anti-racism resources for white people https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/mobilebasic 
 
 
Created and sustained by Charles Preston: Black History Library.  https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0Bz011IF2Pu9TUWIxVWxybGJ1Ync 
 
 

 

 

#GetFreeWrites: List of writing prompts on police brutality and racist violence by the Dark Noise Collective   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-g9T0yeuFIekLBIieVK6I_rtm4-OkW1DTwBrgjSmxrU/edit?ts=580ebf12&mc_cid=d867592a7c&mc_eid=7300a7d844
 
Do you have a resource that’s not listed here? Please send it to Sherilyn.Hamrell@csulb.edu