204: Monterey Park, Baton Rouge, Half Moon Bay, and What We all Should Be Doing Now
This is not the episode we wanted to record this week - but it’s the one that we NEEDED to record this week. Why? Because just as we’re venturing down the rabbit hole of topics over the next few months that is Civic Engagement and making a difference for 2024, we had blatant scary fearful reminders about why we want you all to know and do more - because people’s lives are at stake.
If you want to know how we feel about the latest mass shootings targeting Asian folks and Black folks, why we don’t give a shit that it was an Asian shooter, how to think about hate crimes, and what the larger issues are and what things are that we can each actually DO - listen in.
What to listen for:
- Our personal reactions and feelings to the horrible mass shootings over the weekend - because they hit close to home
- What we can do going forward to see the big picture, which centers our communities
- Specific issues to act on, including gun control, hate crimes, and domestic violence
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220: A Sound bowl Healing Session, with Christina Ifurung
37:17As we’ve discussed on the show, as biracial people with Japanese immigrant parents, anti-Asian hate is something we’ve had to be even more keenly aware of over the last few years. Even beyond that point of tension, let’s be honest, the world is just a lot - for everyone - nowadays. So we wanted to present you with a gift. The gift of connecting with spiritual energy, along with an actual sound healing that you can pull over to the side of the road for, or sit or lay down in a safe space to listen to and absorb. What to listen for: What this concept of “Asian” means to a first-generation Filipina What the ancestral, divine art of sound healing can do What to look out for when choosing a practitioner A brilliant xx minute sound healing session - our collective gift to you starting at xx:xx into this show About Christina: Christina Ifurung is the owner of Kapwa Healing. She has a 1:1 sanctuary where she holds sacred sessions that include, reiki, chakra assessments, sound healing, and mentorship in Centennial. Kapwa is derived from the Filipinx term “pagkikipagkapwa” coined by Viriligio Enriquez which stands for an inner connectedness and shared self. She is a certified sound healer under Ali Young and the Medicine of Sound Academy. She was certified as a Reiki Practitioner with Jess Priesta (aka @jessbeinspired). She is also a registered nurse with 10 years of Newborn ICU experience and is currently working in infusion therapy as well. Healing runs in her veins as she also has tracked a Babaylan (Filipinx Shaman) bloodline that links to her mother’s side from the northern Ilocos region of the Philippines. She is also a mother to a bi-racial Hispanic and Filipinx spunky brilliant six-year-old boy. Also recently married to a White American male from a small town in Illinois who dedicates his life to supporting others in their health journeys. For Christina, honoring her ancestry is a strong sacred piece of her practice that she leans into daily and shares with others in her ceremonies in hopes to inspire you to Re-Member your lineage and who you Be.
219: The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself, with David Mura
46:04We’ve spoken about cross-racial solidarity a few times, but never with quite the beautifully illustrative stories and historical references and personally motivating oomph that we did today. And I think it’s important to note that this conversation is one that happened between the three of us, all identifying as Asian and American, about topics that involve not only our shared Japanese American and Asian American history but included a focus on how we collectively combat White supremacy. We get to speak with David Mura, author of The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself - yes, it’s quite the title - and if you have any desire to make any change in this country whatsoever, you’ll want to commit to listening to this conversation in its entirety. We absolutely loved it. What to listen for: David’s personal upbringing as a third-generation Japanese American, whose American parents were incarcerated in the internment camps on US soil - and therefore raised him to “want to be white” How his lens changed, and importantly, why the lens we tell stories through matters so, so much Stories about Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and how we need to include “AND” in their narratives - they were great AND they were racist slaveowners The actions white people need to take - knowledge and social interactions, a spiritual journey, and a political commitment Cross-racial, Asian-Black solidarity About David Mura: David Mura is an essayist, memoirist, poet, and fiction writer who brings a unique perspective to our multi-racial and multi-cultural society. A third-generation Japanese-American, he has written intimately about his life as a man of color and the connections between race, culture, and history. In public appearances interweaving poetry, performance, and personal testament, he provides powerful insights into the racial issues facing America today. Mura's memoirs, poems, essays, plays, and performances have won wide critical praise and numerous awards. Their topics range from contemporary Japan to the legacy of the internment camps and the history of Japanese Americans to critical explorations of an increasingly diverse America. He gives presentations at educational institutions, businesses, and other organizations throughout the country. Buy links: Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/p/books/the-stories-whiteness-tells-itself-david-mura/18427145?gclid=Cj0KCQjw6cKiBhD5ARIsAKXUdyYTzd2nFr3Jd8WwNeMxqAyvh11wd88S-C1ffI14MU8yMN9R7Qw1HGMaAjM8EALw_wcB Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-stories-whiteness-tells-itself-david-mura/1142412052 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stories-Whiteness-Tells-Itself-Narratives/dp/151791454X Social media links: Website: http://www.davidmura.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.mura.71 Twitter: https://twitter.com/muradavid
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218: White Women, Jane Crow, and The Gallery of Accomplices
23:05When the email came into our inbox introducing us to a multimedia project called “Jane Crow, Then & Now,” we were immediately intrigued. After all, Jane Crow - or White women’s support for White supremacy - is something we’ve talked about a lot. This support, of white women for white supremacy, has gone on for way longer than most people realize; it’s not just confined to the South; and it’s a prevalent force in our schools, meaning that students and teachers of color are often oppressed due to the power of white women’s support of white supremacy. As we’ve often said, White women have a lot of power in their own spheres of influence, where two-thirds of women voters are white, 80% of public school teachers are white women, and beyond that, one of these many spheres is deeply personal: child-rearing. It’s the conversations and actions that White women are taking with regard to their own children, and what they’re teaching them, both implicitly and explicitly, that will change the course of the future - for the collective good, or for individual gain. A lot of White women have chosen to uphold White supremacy through apathy or inaction, even if they don’t consider themselves racist. Those who have chosen to walk against the tide of our country’s trajectory toward racism have done so at great personal cost - but sometimes, for even greater collective gain: our children’s futures. That’s why, on the eve of Mother’s Day, we’d like to highlight this project by EdPost which highlights the allies in history: the White women accomplices who challenged the system and worked for equity in education for Black and brown children, at great personal cost. For white women looking for historical role models and sheroes, the Gallery of Accomplices provides a GREAT list of resources to encourage and inspire all people to deepen our historical knowledge and commitment to cultural humility, deeper listening when working with children, and families, and communities whose experiences differ from our own. What to listen for: Stories of incredible white women who risked their own reputations and capital to do the right thing. Lydia Maria Child, Sandra Adickes, The Grimké Sisters, Myrtilla Miner, and Barbara Henry are all people whose names you should know Huge thank you to Maureen Kelleher, editorial director at Brightbeam, publisher for EdPost, who brought the Jane Crow Gallery of Accomplices to our attention Resources: Gallery of Accomplices: https://www.edpost.com/jane-crow/gallery-of-accomplices More info about the project overall: https://www.edpost.com/jane-crow
217: The Biracial Asian Experience in America
38:29If you’re listening to this episode when it’s released, we’re now in May of 2023, which is also AAPI Heritage Month. There are a lot of names for this month, which is great, as there are also a lot of countries and ethnicities represented by the simple word “Asian”. But one group of people that is often left out of the overarching Asian umbrella are the biracial Asians - and, given our own identities in this space, this is something that we experience regularly. So, to kick off AAPI Heritage Month from a perspective not often discussed, we’re focusing today on our personal stories of being biracial Asian women, and what identity, belonging, and inclusion mean when we look at being Asian in this country through this lens. And, since it’s us, we’ll be throwing in a little bit of history, laws, and psych along the way. What to listen for: Sara & Misasha’s personal experiences growing up biracial as one of the OG legally biracial folks in this country’s history The census data - and how we could only check one box until 2000! The Loving v. Virginia decision, and how that opened up the door to our families being allowed to exist How we want more Asian people to stop gatekeeping who is “Asian enough” and instead, start banding together with other marginalized groups to push back against White supremacy – because it’s all of us or none of us. In this episode, we highlight the podcast Ten Thousand Things. In many Chinese sayings, “ten thousand” is used in a poetic sense to convey something infinite, vast, and unfathomable. For Shin Yu Pai, the award-winning poet and museologist who hosts the podcast, the story of Asians in America is just that. In Ten Thousand Things, Shin Yu explores a collection of objects and artifacts that tell us something about Asian American life – from a second-hand novel to a blue suit worn by Congressman Andy Kim on January 6. Ten Thousand Things is a vibrant, diverse, and bittersweet celebration of Asian America ... and a challenge for all of us to reimagine stories of the past and future. Featured guests this season include Disability Visibility Project podcast host Alice Wong; transgender and non-binary, poet and educator Ebo Barton; and NED founder Eason Yang; among others.
216: Key Cases for SCOTUS In 2023, Part I
44:14What SCOTUS will do this term, and what they decide in June, will determine a lot of our ability to keep some basic human rights in a democracy - and the three cases that we’re going to be talking about also may impact you, regardless of what state you’re in. Back in Episode 108, “Why we all should be concerned about voter suppression,” we talked a LOT about the history of voting rights in this country, the need for the Voting Rights Act (hint: it comes back to racism), and how voter suppression was currently happening in this country. And… while we’d like to say that here in 2023 things have changed, they have not, given that two of the three cases that we’re talking about in this episode deal directly with the right to vote. The third addresses LGBTQ+ rights, but could be interpreted to limit rights much more broadly, and in all 50 states. So listen up, because we’re going to be breaking down three key cases and why you should be following these decisions when they’re released in June. What to listen for: Moore v. Harper and the independent state legislature theory - which basically would claim that only the state legislature itself has the power to set the rules. The theory claims that the state legislatures’ power is so exclusive that they can ignore the requirements of their own state constitution. Would impact gerrymandering and voting rights dramatically. Merrill v. Milligan, where lawyers are suggesting that the Voting Rights Act prohibits denying votes on account of race but does not affirmatively obligate states to redistrict on account of race. Means that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Alabama, not only was their racially discriminatory congressional map allowed to go into effect, but Louisiana may suffer the same fate - and you bet if this case removes 40 years of precedent that has gone the other way, it won’t just be Louisiana and Alabama that will be challenging Section 2 of the VRA. 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, where we’ll hear whether some businesses should be free to deny certain clients due to their owners’ freedom of speech that allegedly stretches to their commercial activities. Witness a decline in LGBTQ+ rights, and eventually, potentially, whether the high court will explicitly endorse a double standard that tolerates discrimination against LGBTQ people while enforcing laws banning discrimination based on race… or not…
215: We’re Still Talking About Affirmative Action
1:06:19With decisions pending in the two Supreme Court cases discussing the future of affirmative action, today we talk about all things affirmative action, including: where it came from, who the biggest beneficiaries of it have been (and if you know a White woman in this country, you’ll want to listen) if we still need it (yes), and what you’ll really need to know about where our society may be headed – because this not only impacts education but our companies and communities, too. Bottom line: affirmative action actually affects all of us. Listen in to hear why. What to listen for: How the term “affirmative action” came to be - originally about race When sex/gender was included in the plans, leading to White women being the biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action How affirmative action turned into a zero-sum game by twisting it to position White people (women) as victims Reminders of the affirmative action program that supported White people first - the GI Bill The SCOTUS case coming up that might undermine the benefits - given the composition of the court - of keeping policies in place that enforce diversity Other episodes to listen to: Why White People Should Care: The Women's Movement and Societal Systems Why White Women Should Care: History, Science + Current Events John Tateishi’s Conversation About Living in an Internment Camp
214: Behind the Scenes: A Celebration to Kick Off Year FIVE of Dear White Women
24:32This week marks the FOUR YEAR anniversary of the Dear White Women podcast! From those first few episodes released altogether on April 15, 2019, to now… it’s been quite the ride. This year, in order to kick off year five (!!!) of the podcast, we thought we’d devote an entire shorter episode to talking about not only the past four years but what we have in store for the future (you didn’t think we’d end with four, did ya?). What to listen for: How the podcast has evolved since its start in April 2019 The stand-out episode from this past year – hint, both of us chose Overground Railroad with Candacy Taylor Our personal whys behind doing this for the past four years Where we think the Dear White Women platform goes from here About Sara & Misasha: A graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School, Misasha Suzuki Graham has been a practicing litigator for over 15 years and is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession as well as in her communities. She is a facilitator, writer, and speaker regarding issues of racial justice, especially with regard to children, the co-author of Dear White Women: Let’s Get (Un)comfortable Talking About Racism, and the co-host of Dear White Women, a social justice podcast. Misasha, who is biracial (Japanese and White), is married to a Black man, and is the proud mom of two very active multiracial young boys. They live in the Bay Area of California with their largely indifferent cat. Sara Blanchard helps build community and connection through conscious conversations, which she does as a facilitator, TEDx speaker, writer, and consultant. After graduating from Harvard and working at Goldman Sachs, Sara pursued the science and techniques of well-being and is a certified life coach, author of two books (Flex Mom and Dear White Women: Let’s Get (Un)comfortable Talking About Racism), and co-host of Dear White Women, an award-winning weekly social justice podcast. Sara is biracial (Japanese and White), married to a White Canadian man, and is raising their two White-presenting girls to be compassionate, thoughtful advocates. They live in Denver, Colorado with their incredibly lovable dog.
213: Why White Americans Turned Against Unions
30:09Most people that we know didn’t grow up thinking about or knowing people who were involved in unions. Us too – until Sara married a union man. And it got us thinking… how have unions impacted all of our lives? Turns out, quite a lot. Here’s one way: the length of the typical workday. Thank unions for 8 hours – because that didn’t just magically happen out of the goodwill of employers. Unions campaigned for over 70 years to move the average workweek from 100 hours per week (!!) down to 40. At one stage, back in the 1950s, nearly one in three workers were in unions, and they played a HUGE role in reducing income inequality and boosting wages. Done right, unions are a public good – they provide benefits for all of society, so basically are the underpinning of a democracy and economy that works for most people. But here we are today in 2023. You have probably heard about the Fight for 15, to get $15/hour to be the minimum wage for folks in the fast food industry. You may be seeing headlines of workers starting unions at Starbucks, Amazon, Apple, and maybe you even know some folks who are involved. Support for labor unions in the U.S. is currently at a 57-year high, where 71% of Americans approve, but participation is at a record LOW, where only just over 10% (about 14 million American workers) are actually part of a union. Join us as we dive into understanding this critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to shaping not just corporate but our country’s policies and the perpetuation of this growing inequality - and yep, it’s not surprising, but there’s a racial component to this too. What to listen for: What a labor union is The example of the average hours in a workweek, and how unions worked to pressure both governments and companies to lower the number of hours expected Details on the Pullman Porters, and the first-ever agreement between an all-Black union (the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) and a major US company How companies drove a wedge between workers based on race, which has corresponded with a decrease in union participation by workers in this country Why we think unions play an integral role in lessening inequality and supporting ALL of us. Resources: https://racial-justice.aflcio.org/blog/est-aliquid-se-ipsum-flagitiosum-etiamsi-nulla https://www.dol.gov/general/workcenter/unions-101 https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/pullman-porters https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf https://www.cultureamp.com/blog/40-hour-work-week https://www.americanprogress.org/events/labor-unions-future/ https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2023/02/28/1159663461/you-may-have-heard-of-the-union-boom-the-numbers-tell-a-different-story
212: What Does a Lobbyist Actually Do? with David Louie
42:04I hear the word lobbying and used to envision some sort of dark mysterious magic taking place. But it turns out there are some very forthright, thoughtful individuals who play the role of lobbyist - being hired because they know something about how the legislative process works, willing to give advice and defend positions about what they think is right when it comes to regulating companies and advocating for or against policies that will impact the folks living in our country. Today, we speak with one of those fantastic individuals, David Louie. David is a former Attorney General of Hawaii and lobbyist for firms including Meta and Airbnb. So grateful that he was willing to share this time with us on the podcast so we can learn first-hand about what lobbying means for individuals, and for the future of our democracy! And a note to all you lawyers out there: add “lobbyist” as a potential career path if you want to use your advocacy skills in a different, yet similar, way… What to listen for: The actual definition of a lobbyist, and what skill sets and experience are useful in the field What sources of information and pressure a lobbyist has to consider Ways interactions with legislators can go – whether it’s easy to get meetings, and more How the system of lobbying affects our ability to make sound decisions in this country – and whether it’s helping or hurting us as a democracy About David Louie: David M. Louie is a civil trial lawyer at Kobayashi Sugita & Goda, LLP in Honolulu, Hawai‘i—handling complex commercial litigation, construction defect claims, catastrophic personal injury defense, constitutional issues for the State of Hawai‘i, government affairs, and lobbying—and also serves as a mediator and arbitrator. He was Hawai‘i’s attorney general from 2011 to 2014, providing advice, counsel, and representation to the governor, cabinet, legislature, State agencies, and employees. He has served as president, vice president, and director of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association, as Lawyer Representative for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and as Northwest Regional Governor for the National Asian-Pacific American Bar Association. He graduated from Occidental College and Berkeley Law School and currently lives in Honolulu.
211: The Role of District Attorneys in Mass Incarceration in America
45:31If you’ve ever watched an episode of Law and Order, you’ll know Jack McCoy, who was the District Attorney (with a capital D and A) in that show. Together with his team, Jack McCoy made decisions about a lot of people’s guilt or innocence and argued that in court. Typically, when we think about a criminal trial, there are two phases: culpability, and sentencing. So in the first phase, either the judge or jury decides if the defendant is guilty or not, and then, if the defendant is found guilty, in that second phase, the judge or jury decides what that sentence should be. But aside from that, it’s true that a lot of us don’t know what DAs do, or what their role is with regard to mass incarceration. Let’s get a little more analytical than Law and Order, and by the end of this episode, we hope you not only know more about what your DAs do, but have some ideas of how to hold them accountable, just like they hold us accountable. What to listen for: What the office of the DA actually does The role of the DA in criminal prosecutions, from the crime being committed all the way to sentencing Some typical situations that DAs might face and why some opt for incarceration How we can hold our DAs accountable when it comes to mass incarceration vs. restorative justice, especially in non-election years