In light of the recent tragedy in Atlanta and heightened awareness of the increased hate crimes towards AAPIs (Asian-American Pacific Islanders) during the pandemic, KR is offering a couple events that directly address AAPI hate. The first event will better familiarize you to an important piece of Asian American history and the second event is designed to catalyze healing and vulnerability as part of the road towards solidarity between ethnic groups.
EVENT #1: San Francisco's Chinatown: A History of Racism and its Heroes through the Eyes of God:
May 14th @ 7:30pm-9pm Pacific. During this tragic season of AAPI hate crimes, I've received a good number of inquires asking "What can I do?" A simple non-threatening answer is this: to grow your familiarity with the AAPI story. Better yet, grow your understanding of the intersection of the AAPI story with God's Story. This is a simple, yet profound way to grow your empathy for others unfamiliar to you. Within the infinite number of AAPI stories available, there are "anchor" stories, and the story of SF’s Chinatown is one of them. How important it is to know these stories given the “impulse” to erase the experience of Asian Americans (Watch this from the PBS Newshour)
This event will set this Chinatown anchor story against the biblical honor-shame framework. This is important for several reasons: The symbol of the cross is the ultimate icon of honor and shame. The cross was already the most engineered shameful way to be executed. Compound that with that fact that one who was without sin died on it. The cross more than identified with the shame, racism and displacement that Chinatown has long experienced. The cross also surfaces the false antidotes to shame; it compassionately invites one to self-reflect on one's own shame and what we pursue to cover than shame. Chinatown's stories contain all these dynamics. And these stories within an honor-shame narrative gives framing and a process to move towards a truer solidarity in a way that resists shortcuts.
Your guides for this virtual immersion will be me along with award-winning author Kathy Chin Leong. Drawing from her new book, she will lay the historical groundwork of racism and Chinatown heroes who brought honor for about 30 min. Then I will set her Chinatown story of shame and honor against a biblical backdrop of shame and honor. This event is a joint venture between Kingdom Rice, the historic First Chinese Baptist Church (in the heart of historic Chinatown) and the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit.
EVENT #2. “AAPI hate: The Road Towards Healing.”
You are invited on April 14th @ 12:30 Pacific. We’ll be uncovering potential blind spots on this road towards healing from these tragedies so we can better respond as Jesus-followers. This includes naming some of our own implicit biases, understanding past atrocities against AAPIs, and framing them within the work of the Spirit . Register here:
And for those who wish to take a deeper dive, we have ongoing cohorts that take everything I've presented thus far to an integrational level. We've offered these cohorts to church leadership, missionary staff, and more.
"Reframing our Lenses" Cohorts
- A refreshed lens that will enable you to engage with others with more of the humble, vulnerable heart of Christ
- A testimony that highlights your journey of deriving face from God instead of other sources
- Able to identify biases you grew up with, and possibly how it distorts the lenses you use to see God, yourself, and others
- A reframing of how you see God, yourself, and other people
The best summary of the cohort goal is wrapped up in our mission statement, "to equip you to deeply understand how your own family and cultural story fits into God’s Story in a way that will shape how they lead others to love and live amongst their neighbors.”
- Each one will have no more than 8 participants
- Safety and confidentiality: Each participant is screened through references. No audio or video recording nor screenshots are shared without permission.
- We're taking an "information light, integration heavy" approach. That is, each session will be focused on sharing and listening to others.
- Expect to spend an hour preparing for each session. Most of that time will be spent in reflection and writing.
- Each cohort is limited to 8 participants for maximum participation. Barring emergencies that come up, you will be expected at each meeting and prepared to discuss the subject.
- Each meeting averages between 75 and 90 minutes long.
- Over the course of 6 weeks, the reading will amount to less then a couple dozen pages. Most of the work will be reflection questions that will be brought to the next session. Minimum suggested time of preparation between meeting is one hour. Most of that time will be in reflection.
- From experience, cohort meetings often surface theological or social questions beyond the focus of our meetings. In these cases, I will offer supplementary reading, most likely in the form of curated blog posts. Expected outcomes won’t necessarily include coming to conclusion with some of these issues. But I believe the class structure will help you arrive at a conclusion sooner.