What time is it on the clock of APIENC?
Dear APIENC Community,
“What time is it on the clock of the world?
What time is it on the clock of APIENC?”
When Michael—APIENC’s end-of-year Core Retreat facilitator—asked these questions inspired by Grace Lee and James Boggs, my breath softened. After a year of responding to urgent crises and transformations, I finally felt my feet firm against the ground. Together, we moved into a long-view of our place in history. What triumphs and failures have led to our current conditions? What possibilities are ripe for us to make real?
For APIENC, now is a historic time to move the issues of trans, queer, disabled, refugee, migrant, and working class APIs from the margins to the mainstream.
In 2021, through crisis after crisis our community responded with power and care. When we reeled in sorrow after the shootings of six Asian women workers in Atlanta, we led vigils and healing circles for hundreds of us to hold each other in grief. When we faced life-threatening isolation deepened by the pandemic, we led workshops for over 150 community members to practice asking for help and meeting each others’ needs. We challenged conservative forces who capitalized on tragic violence against Asians to advance policing, prisons, and false solutions to harm. We trained our own safety teams, and founded new Community Safety and Healing Justice committees led by directly-impacted trans and queer API members.
Last year, we deepened the relationships and member leadership we need to carry out our Theory of Change: to create skillful, healing, and queer movements for justice. In our own neighborhoods here in the Bay Area, historic calls to defund the police, abolish prisons, and invest in healthcare, housing, and critical parts of our social fabric are rising.
Full image descriptions at end of page.
Graphics created by Cynthia Fong & Jenica Rose Garcia.
Yet even as APIENC and our allies’ voices grow, conservative forces continue to weaponize the fear of trans people and migrants to win sweeping powers. Last year alone, legislators nationwide energized their bases with more than 125 bills that threatened medical care, safety, and schooling for trans people. Organizers including our friends at the Asian Prisoner Support Committee called upon us and others to rally against mass deportations of Southeast Asian refugees, the continued abuse and detainment of trans and queer migrants, and more. APIENC’s community lives and leads at the intersections of many of the most urgent issues of our time. As we deepen our hyperlocal work rooted in the Bay Area, it’s clear we must have an impact far beyond the Bay for our movements to succeed.
To answer this call to lead intersectional movements, APIENC members across each committee have established clear North Stars for the next 5 years. Together, we will lead campaigns to abolish violent systems. We will train networks of TQAPIs on the skills to keep each other safe. We will empower new generations of trans and queer API storytellers. And we will continue to intervene in movement-wide individualism.
In this coming year, APIENC will…
- Launch a new campaign to address the dire everyday violence trans APIs face in the Bay Area
- Organize the 13th annual cohort of our flagship Summer Organizer Program fellowship
- Create a free peer counseling program, led by-and-for trans and non-binary APIs
- Debut a new training series on values-centered organizing, exclusively for our partners
- Lead a new zine-making workshop for trans and non-binary APIs to share our own narratives
As we move into a new year of organizing, I’m filled with gratitude. Thank you to the friends and fellow APIENC members who remind me we will lead together as I transition into a new role as Director. Thank you to Sammie for your fierce, heartfelt leadership, the commitment to transformation, honesty, and interdependence you modeled for us year after year. Thank you to our movement partners, who remind me every day we are building new worlds on so many fronts. Let’s lead with our values as we move the clock of our world, together.
With love and in solidarity
Image Descriptions for Year-In-Review Graphics:
Image #1: On a light yellow background in front of a large APIENC circle logo reads “APIENC 2021 year in review”. Below is a picture of a large crowd of masked QTAPIs smiling and posing at a camera.”
Image #2: Title reads “New Programs 2021” on a green header. Below reads “[We] come from lineages of people who have prioritized protecting and caring for one another. Organizing for safety alongside my TGNC API siblings means collective stewardship and responsibility. – Mika, Community Safety Committee”. Below in two yellow boxes read “Healing Justice: Formed by 15 members, New training program and plans for a trans API peer counseling program, Recruited 4 new members” and “Community Safety: Formed by 14 members, Trans API Community Safety Townhall, with more than 30 attendees, Hired a new full-time organizer for safety and abolition work”. Bordering the bottom is an illustration of paper cut-out humans holding hands. Included is a selfie from Zoom of 25 QTAPIs smiling at the camera.
Image #3: The title reads “Sunsetting Programs 2021” next to an illustration of a dragon fruit. On yellow boxes read “Dragon Fruit Project: 4 episode DFP podcast, over 500 listeners; over 100 volunteers helped create the DFP podcast; launched the historic Dragon Fruit Project Museum online”, “Dragon Fruit Network: connected 90 QTAPIs through the Queer API Cis Allies Project, Trained over 35 people on asking for help” and “Trans Justice: organized with statewide allies to win $13 million for trans wellness; ‘Up to Us’ downloaded over 1000 times”. In a white box next to a Zoom selfie image reads the quote “I learned that I am not alone in my experiences and that being vulnerable is an act of courage. There is so much healing and care that we as a queer TGNC community can cultivate together.” from Vince, Dragon Fruit Network and now, Healing Justice Committee member.
Image #4: Title reads “Continuing Programs 2021”. On yellow boxes read “Communications: Organized to amplify APIENC’s work and train communicators”, “Grassroots Fundraising: Raised more than $551,000 from 2195 individual donors” and “Leadership Development: Graduated 6 young QTAPIs in the 12th cohort of the Summer Organizer Program, Trained 25 organizers through LEX”. In a white box next to an in-person selfie of QTAPIs reads “I found a community, and gained the tools to take my organizing skills and passions to the next level. LEX offered an opportunity to push past the passivity of doubt and embrace the endeavor of solidarity, change, and hope. – Nisha, LEX” In the middle is an illustration of 6 smiling QTAPI faces.
Image #5: Title reads “ED Transition”. There is a photo of Yuan, a trans Chinese person, holding a microphone and holding their hand up. Above is an illustration of Yuan and Sammie smiling at a camera. A quote in a white box reads “APIENC is an incredibly strong place, and our members are prepared to move this work forward with compassion, rigor, and care. Throughout this next year, and for the many years ahead, will you continue to support APIENC, Yuan, and all of our amazing staff and Core leaders? This is a moment of deep opportunity, and our future is up to us. – Sammie, Outgoing ED.”