Dear Newton South Community,
We know that many of you are pained as you see the rise of racial violence in our country, most recently this week with the killings of eight people in the Atlanta area, six of whom were Asian women. We are deeply hurt and saddened by yet another example of violence that targets our communities of color. And, our hearts and minds are filled with a desire to show support and offer guidance to our Newton community at large about how to support our families of color and especially our AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) students and families during this year when the Covid-19 pandemic and political rhetoric have caused the unprecedented rise in racial hate crimes and aggressions.
We, the members of FORJ NSHS — Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ) of Newton South High School — have been meeting this year to plan events that invite learning, conversation and mutual support for people of color and allies. Meetings this year have included a book group that examined Stamped, and a panel discussion that highlighted the voices of students and staff of color from Newton South.
Our upcoming FORJ NSHS Asian American Pacific Islander Solidarity Night on Wednesday, April 14th @ 7pm will be a night to learn specifically how to support our AAPI students as well as to offer affinity spaces for YOU – AAPI students and allies who are parents, guardians, faculty and community members. We realize this is one of the first nights of Ramadan, and hope that our Muslim friends can join us for at least part of the evening. Please register for the event HERE.
We plan to offer an opportunity to learn about:
- the historical and systemic roots of violence and discrimination against AAPI communities
- how AAPI communities are impacted in terms of mental health and how to help and get help
- how best to support our young people, family members and friends during this difficult time
Through breakout rooms, we will offer affinity spaces by age and racial identities in addition to random groups to allow people to learn from each other and offer each other support.
We stand united against all acts of anti-AAPI violence, including hurtful language, stereotypes, and other aggressions. We pledge to continue to offer our support of racial justice and our continued work towards becoming an anti-racist district.
We encourage you to educate yourselves and reach out to each other to appreciate the rich diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures within our school, community, country and world.
Please note these upcoming events and attend the Asian Monologue Project on April 10th and our South FORJ event on April 14th. We hope that you will join us as we gather as a community to advance the cause of racial justice in the broader Newton South community.
- Friday, March 19 @7PM. Parents/Guardians Forum – Zoom Link. Passcode: AAPI. Join us to discuss recent events.
- March 31st – Asian American Awareness Day at NSHS (a full day series of webinars with guest speakers for students and faculty)
- April 9th – Asian Night sponsored by the Newton South ASO
- April 10th – Asian Monologue Project. Get tickets at: https://www.newtontheatrecompany.com/
- April 13th – Ramadan begins
- April 14th @ 7PM – NSHS FORJ AAPI Solidarity Night (with Michele Leong and Charlene Beh from NNHS) RSVP HERE
We encourage you to read, watch and act through these resources.
We look forward to standing together to create a welcoming, inclusive community that works for racial justice together!
FORJ NSHS – Families Organizing for Racial Justice at Newton South High School
P.S. Questions? Contact email@example.com
P.P.S. For your convenience, here are the resources from the link above by title…
Talking to Teens about Anti-Asian Discrimination in the Era of COVID-19 – Excellent Webinar on Anti-Asian Violence from MGH Student Wellness
Excellent Guide for Asian-American Parents which includes videos in English, Korean, Chinese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Japanese from William James College
Act to Change is a national organization focusing on addressing bullying and racism faced by the AAPI community. Some recent webinars: