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What Do We Mean when We Say #APIs4BlackLives?

Why and how do we show up in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives? What do we really mean when we say #APIs4BlackLives?

QAPIs4BlackLives

Click the image to watch NQAPIA’s QAPIs4BlackLives video

Hear members of the NQAPIA family talk about their personal experiences with police, where their solidarity comes from, and why they are engaged in their communities to support local #BlackLivesMatter organizing. Hear from some of the voices that are typically marginalized in Asian spaces: Southeast Asians, South Asians, trans & gender non-conforming folks, working-class people, and people at the intersection of these and other identities.

Now is the time to have hard conversations about solidarity in our communities. Please share our #QAPIs4BlackLives video (bit.ly/QAPIs4BlackLivesVideo) on Facebook andTwitter and lift up these API voices that we rarely hear.

Are you interested in continuing this conversation in your community space, organization, or school? Email sasha@nqapia.org to talk about scheduling a training.

Media Release: Hundreds of LGBTQ APIs & Allies Demand that the DHS #StopProfilingUs

MEDIA RELEASE 
For Immediate Release: Friday, March 8, 2016
For More Information, Contact: Sasha W., Organizing Director, sasha@nqapia.org

Hundreds of LGBTQ APIs and Allies Demand that the
Department of Homeland Security #StopProfilingUs

Washington, DC. Today, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance delivered a petition with hundreds of signatures from LGBTQ APIs and our allies to Jeh Johnson, the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), demanding that DHS create an enforceable guidance that bans legalized profiling.

We have three main demands:

  • DHS, ICE, and all immigration enforcement agencies must define and prohibit profiling based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity in border security, national security, and state and local law enforcement.
  • A clear process must address allegations of inappropriate profiling. This process must include profiling by local law enforcement and procedures should be developed with immigrants’ rights advocates.
  • When inappropriate profiling is used in immigration enforcement, any resulting detention or deportation is improper and should be revoked, as is already done in criminal proceedings where wrongfully obtained evidence is suppressed.

In December 2015, NQAPIA staff hand-delivered a letter with over 40 national and local community organizations to DHS Deputy Secretary Mayorkas. We have yet to receive a satisfactory response to our concerns.

You can see the full text of the petition—and add your name—here.

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2016 Community Catalyst Awards

NQAPIA’s 2016 Community Catalyst Awards dinners will be held in New York, Boston, and Washington, DC. These events are a chance for us to come together, share a multi-course banquet, enjoy performances by AAPI artists, and honor incredible organizations and leaders in the LGBTQ AAPI community.

When you get involved with the Community Catalyst Awards, you not only show your support in celebrating, but this is also an opportunity to raise money for continued organizing and advocacy in the LGBTQ AAPI community.

Click on the images and links to learn how to get involved in New York, Boston, and Washington, DC.

New York – March 12, 2016

Community Catalyst Awards NYC

Purchase tickets for the NYC Community Catalyst Awards
Become a sponsor for the NYC Community Catalyst Awards
Share the NYC Community Catalyst Awards event on Facebook

Boston – March 26, 2016

2016 Community Catalyst Awards Boston

Purchase tickets for the Boston Community Catalyst Awards
Become a sponsor for the Boston Community Catalyst Awards
Share the Boston Community Catalyst Awards event on Facebook

Washington, DC – April 9, 2016

2016 Community Catalyst Awards DC

Purchase tickets for the DC Community Catalyst Awards
Become a sponsor for the DC Community Catalyst Awards
Share the DC Community Catalyst Awards event on Facebook

 

 

NQAPIA 2015 News Magazine

2015 Annual Report

Read about NQAPIA activities in 2015 and what our local organizations have been doing in Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) communities.

Highlights:

  • NQAPIA National Conference
  • Family Acceptance: Family is still Family, Love is still Love
  • Rise Up! National Week of Action on Immigrants’ Rights
  • LGBT Asian/South Asian Lawyer Receptions in NY, SF, & DC
  • Community Catalyst Awards
  • Regional Roundup
  • Immigration Update
  • 2014 Financial Statement

Flip through the 2015 Issuu: https://issuu.com/nqapia/docs/nqapia_2015_newsletter_issuu.

LGBTQ Indians Pressure Apple, Google, and Facebook to #ChallengeModi this Weekend on Homophobic Law

[NQAPIA is hosting this statement in support of Queers for Justice in India. For any press inquiries, please contact Tara Gonsalves (press@challengemodi.com).]
Apple Facebook Google

 

LGBTQ Indians Pressure Apple, Google, and Facebook to #ChallengeModi this Weekend on Homophobic Law

LGBTQ Indian Americans and their allies are calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to challenge Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to overturn India’s homophobic Victorian-era law when Modi visits Silicon Valley this weekend. A petition asking these CEOs, previously vocal supporters of LGBTQ rights in the United States, to #ChallengeModi on his institutionalized homophobia has gathered nearly one thousand signatures. On the afternoon of Sunday September 27, over one thousand people are expected to protest Modi’s human rights record in San Jose, California.

Facebook, Apple, and Google claim to be LGBTQ-friendly. Cook, a global LGBTQ role model, said he would challenge anti-LGBTQ legislation “wherever it emerges.” Zuckerberg describes Facebook as “a proud supporter of Pride,” and sports a rainbow-colored profile photo. All three companies have challenged DOMA, supported marriage equality, and provided benefits for LGBTQ employees before they were legally mandated to do so.

However, these same CEOs are now turning their backs on LGBTQ Indians, as well as their own LGBTQ employees and allies, by welcoming the controversial Indian politician, previously banned from the United States for complicity with genocide, and now refusing to take a position on Section 377, the homophobic 1860 law imposed on India by British colonizers.

Repressive laws take a toll on individuals. Sundar, a gay Indian man working in Silicon Valley, says that “due to progressive workplace policies in the valley I can be my authentic self at work. Back home in India, in contrast, the specter of 377 looms over me, my friends, and my family. We constantly fear the threat of harassment, blackmail and extortion. I hope that Silicon Valley stands up for the rights of their Indian LGBTQ employees and that PM Modi takes a stand to end the Victorian-era British law that criminalizes tens of millions of LGBTQ Indians.”

“India’s Penal Code 377 provides an avenue for harassment, extortion, and abuse of LGBTQ Indians,” says Monica Davis, Queer South Asian activist and former Trikone Chairwoman, the San Francisco Bay Area’s South Asian LGBTQ advocacy group. “If Google, Facebook, and Apple were supportive of LGBTQ rights during San Francisco Pride, they should also demonstrate support now.” Adds Suhas, Outreach Director at Trikone, “I would like to appeal to Prime Minister Modi to follow Nepal’s footsteps in including LGBTQ rights in the constitution.”

When human rights violators come to visit, we call on the CEOs of Apple, Google, and Facebook, who wield enormous influence in the global political economy, to take a stand for global LGBTQ rights. To sign the petition, visit www.ChallengeModi.com.

#No377 #ChallengeModi

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Immigration Injunction 101: What’s Happened So Far, and What We Are Waiting For Now

The process and language around the injunction blocking the expanded DACA & DAPA programs can get confusing. President Obama announced executive action on immigration in November 2014, but expanded DACA and DAPA have been caught in a legal debate ever since. Here are some fast facts for LGBTQ AAPI folks to stay informed!

Arpaio vs. Obama:

  • Joe Arpaio, our favorite xenophobic & racist sheriff from Arizona (remember S.B. 1070?) immediately filed a court case against the Obama administration. He claimed that the Executive Action would directly harm him because “criminals would not be deported” under the new law.
  • Arpaio lost this challenge.

Texas vs. United States:

  • 26 states filed a lawsuit against the United States, claiming that the Obama administration overstepped their constitutional authority with the Executive Action on November 20th.
  • The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction, or temporary block, of the expanded DACA & DAPA programs, pending a trial. This is why these programs have not yet opened for applicants.
  • In response the U.S. government asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a higher federal court, for an emergency “stay,” or pause, on the injunction during the appeal process. In other words, the Obama administration asked the court to allow expanded DACA & DAPA to proceed while the lawsuit continues. On May 26th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request for a stay. So for now, the new programs are still not running.
  • The U.S. government also appealed the preliminary injunction itself to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, on an expedited basis. A hearing for this appeal will take place on July 10th in New Orleans. This is the next big step in this court case.
  • If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules to uphold the injunction against the Obama Administration, next steps for the U.S. government could include:
    • Asking for a review by all 15 judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Currently, only 3 judges are hearing this case.)
    • Appeal the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down the preliminary injunction , and rules in the Obama administration’s favor, we expect the expanded programs will finally be open for applicants.

As a reminder: the injunction & court cases are only regarding expanded DACA & DAPA. If you qualified for DACA before Executive Action in November, you should still apply! Contact sasha@nqapia.org if you have questions or need support.

NQAPIA Supports Justice in Madison

BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday, NQAPIA’s new Organizing Director Sasha W. was locked in front of the Dane County Jail in Madison, WI for 3 hours and 50 minutes. NQAPIA stands with Sasha, with the others at yesterday’s action, and with the Young Gifted & Black (YGB) Coalition organizing in Madison.

Those locked to the jail doors at yesterday’s demonstration are demanding an end to Madison’s racial disparities. The action was catalyzed by yet another non-indictment of a white police officer killing an unarmed Black person – 19-year-old Tony Robinson. Madison has shown yet again that the city is not accountable to its Black residents.

Madison, WI is ranked as the worst city for Black children. Black people are 11x more likely to be arrested in Madison than white people. If this injustice system cannot even indict a police officer who shot a youth seven times, this system is not fit to try or convict any Black person. Those locked in yesterday demanded the release of 350 Black people incarcerated for crimes of poverty, as an immediate addressal of state violence towards Black communities.

Yesterday, Sasha and others in solidarity with YGB put their bodies on the line to end state violence towards Black communities. As a national federation of LGBTQ API organizations, we know that we will not be fully free until Black people are free. We stand with Sasha, with our local organization Freedom Inc., and with the Young Gifted & Black Coalition.

Madison needs to know that the world is watching, now. Share this blog post for our collective freedom, as Black and API liberation are bound together!

NQAPIA Stands with Baltimore

As the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, we stand with the Baltimore Uprising and Black organizers in the city. The nation is reeling from yet another killing of an unarmed Black person—this time in police custody. We refuse to condemn the “violence” of protesters without first condemning the state violence that created this situation—by the police, by government officials, by consistent disinvestment in West Baltimore.

baltimore

Photo via Washington Post (4/29/15) Win McNamee/Getty Images

As queer APIs, we recognize our privilege and our deeply personal investment in this fight. Our communities are diverse. We experience varying degrees of privilege and of profiling, of uneasy trust and deep-seated fear of the police. We join this fight as allies who understand that our liberation is tied with yours.

We commit ourselves to being part of the fight for racial justice, and the struggle for Black lives to truly matter in this country. We commit to being queer APIs4BlackLives in our own cities. We commit to bringing this work home, to challenging the anti-Blackness in our own organizations, communities, and families. We commit ourselves to this work for the long haul.

For today, Baltimore, know that we stand with you. We will continue to stand with you until we see #JusticeforFreddieGray and an end to police brutality across the country.

Location – 2015 National Conference

LOCATION

All conference workshops will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Student Center East (SCE) building.

University of Illinois at Chicago
Student Center East Building
750 S. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 413-5040

The University of Illinois at Chicago boasts one of the Midwest’s largest AAPI student populations and is the only federally-recognized Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) in the Midwest.

DIRECTIONS

UIC is served by the CTA (the “El”) Blue Line train (UIC-Halsted and Racine stops) connecting the campus with downtown, O’Hare International Airport, northwest and west side neighborhoods of Chicago, and the western suburbs of Oak Park, Forest Park, and Cicero.

HOUSING

Hotels
A block of rooms have been reserved at the Crowne Plaza in the fanciful neighborhood of Greektown, just 5 blocks from the conference site.
Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Downtown

733 West Madison Street

Chicago, IL 60661

Reservations must be made by July 6 to secure the special rate of $139/night.
Book online or call 1-800-593-5447 and mention the reservation code “QAI.”

Community Housing
Free community housing is available. To inquire, complete this form http://bit.do/NQAPIAhousing2015  or email coordinator@nqapia.org.