Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Day 2 of the Trump presidency: AAPI groups join the march in Washington

ON SATURDAY, Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration of the 45th President of the U.S., Asian/American men and women will join a march in Washington D.C. to give notice to Donald Trump that the progress made by traditionally oppressed or ignored groups will not be undone.

The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) will convene a contingent of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls from across the country to join the Women’s March on Washington. NAPAWF will join AAPI organizations from other movements as well as reproductive justice partners to send a sharp, strong message to the incoming administration.

“NAPAWF is proud to march with grassroots activists from across the country to demonstrate for women’s rights and social justice,” said NAPAWF Interim Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow. “We will march on behalf of the 10 million AAPI women and girls in the U.S. to demand our rights.”

Representatives from NAPAWF will march with other AAPI organizations to form a contingent of cross-movement AAPI solidarity. Korean drummers will lead the contingent through the Women’s March. NAPAWF activists will carry identifying signs and wear beanies emblazoned, “I Am Not Your Model Minority.”

“AAPI women, girls, queer and trans people stand to be directly harmed by the promises of the incoming administration,” Choimorrow said. “We will march on Washington and continue to build the grassroots movement across the country to work on the issues most important to AAPI women and our families.”

NAPAWF activists from New York will arrive in D.C. by bus, and even more will travel from across the country, including AAPI activists from Georgia, California, Minnesota and Texas. 

Constance Wu
Actress Constance Wu of ABC's Fresh Off the Boat and an outspoken Hillary Clinton supporter will join a contingent of celebrities who have said they would participate, including Katy Perry, Scarlett Johansson, Cher among others.

"I think having a march in Washington that is headlined and frontlined and led by women is a statement about the patriarchal standards that we don’t even see because they are so woven into the fabric of our existence," Wu told The Hollywood Reporter. 

Besides NAPAWF, some of the other AAPI partner organizations are:

  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta 
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago 
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles 
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) 
  • Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) 
  • Council on American Islamic Relations – Connecticut (CAIR-CT) 
  • Council on American Islamic Relations – San Francisco Bay Area 
  • GABRIELA Washington, D.C. 
  • Indian American Democratic Club 
  • Korean American Resource and Cultural Center 
  • Korean Resource Center 
  • Muslim Community Network 
  • Muslim Women’s Alliance 
  • National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) 
  • Women for Afghan Women
Following the march, at 4 p.m., NAPAWF will host a post-event convening to strategize with other AAPI activists in preparation for the first 100 days of the Trump administration. The convening will provide space for AAPI women and transgender people to debrief the march and reflect and share in community, as well as looking ahead to resistance in 2017.

Other marches will be held throughout the country, London and Germany. In the San Francisco Bay Area, go here; Los AngelesNew York CityHonoluluSeattle; and Chicago. For information on the march in other areas, just Google the name of the city and "women's march."

Launched by a Hawaii grandmother who was devastated by the results of Nov. 8, she posted on the Pantsuits Nation website, "I think we should march." The idea kept gaining momentum that will culminate on Jan. 21.

"In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore," reads the website for the march. "The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us."