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NQAPIA Joins LGBTQ Organizations in Responsding to 2014 DOJ Guidance on Profiling

Today, December 9, NQAPIA joined LGBTQ organizations in responding to the U.S. Department of Justice Guidance on Profiling released on December 8, 2104.

A national coalition of LGBTQ organizations advocating on criminal justice issues including the National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), the Columbia University Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Streetwise and Safe (SAS) and the American Civil Liberties Union welcomed yesterday’s announcement of a long awaited update to the 2003 guidance banning racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies.

The new guidance announced by Attorney General Eric Holder expands the existing ban on racial profiling by federal law enforcement agents to also bar the use of sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity, along with national origin and religion, to any degree in the initiation of law enforcement interactions.

As the nation continues to be rocked by the all too often deadly effects of profiling and discriminatory policing practices illustrated by the killings of Mike Brown, Eric Gardner, Tanesha Edwards, Aura Rosser, and so many others, LGBTQ organizations welcomed this historic move to recognize and redress police profiling of all members of communities of color, including women and LGBTQ people of color. From federal investigations in New Orleans and Puerto Rico, to research by LGBTQ organizations including Lambda Legal, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National LGBTQ Task Force, to the voices of communities with whom we work on the ground, it is clear that police profiling of LGBTQ people – particularly people of color – is an everyday occurrence. The expansion of protections against profiling by federal law enforcement agencies based on sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity is both an historic and critical step toward remedying these injustices.

However, the revised guidance includes broad exceptions that dampen the effect of these important protections. The carve-outs for Customs and Border Patrol, Transportation Security Administration, and certain anti-terror investigations are simply unacceptable. Racial profiling is not an investigative technique—it is discrimination, period.We urge the Administration to expand these protections to reach all federal and federally funded law enforcement activities, including and especially those which target Muslim communities and take place at our borders, which until all too recently were closed to LGBTQ immigrants. LGBTQ migrants continue to face significant barriers to entry and profiling and discriminatory policing by CBP and TSA agents, and Muslim LGBTQ people are among those targeted by unacceptable profiling practices pursued in the name of “national security.”

Additionally, while setting an important example for law enforcement agencies across the country, the guidance is neither mandatory nor does it apply to most state and local law enforcement activities. The Guidance also doesn’t include clear accountability measures beyond internal investigations, which do not allow for transparency or independent accountability. As a result, the guidance will not address the majority of profiling faced by LGBTQ people.

Accordingly, the undersigned organizations, consistent with the recommendations made in A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations to Address the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living with HIV, urge state and local law enforcement agencies to adopt similarly expansive profiling bans without exceptions, and law enforcement agencies at all levels to mandate and effectively enforce them.

Finally, we urge Congress to take action to pass an expanded version of the End Racial Profiling Act which includes protections from profiling based on gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation in order to ensure that the federal ban against profiling becomes the law of the land, and offer effective protections to all people affected by police profiling.

Signed,

American Civil Liberties Union

Audre Lorde Project

The Center for Constitutional Rights

The Equity Project

Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement

Immigration Equality

National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)

National Immigrant Justice Center

National LGBTQ Task Force

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)

Southerners on New Ground (SONG)

Streetwise and Safe (SAS)

Transgender Law Center

Transitions: New Knowledge and New Arrivals

The 13th Annual Philadelphia Transhealth Conference took place this week, and NQAPIA was on hand along with 3,000 of our closest friends in trans and gender non-conforming communities from around the country. NQAPIA led a workshop on “Creating Multilingual Resources for Parents of Transgender AAPIs” and brought together an informal meet-up of our friends and family to share a meal and share information about local and national work.

Many of our friends and allies provided great programming throughout the conference. We has a total #nerdcrush at the opening keynote for Janet Mock as she talked about her upbringing in Hawai`i, the current conversations about transgender women of color, and what it means for all of us. The Friday keynote featured our friend Harper Jean Tobin from the National Center for Transgender Equality about her work on a wide array of issues of concern to transgender communities, including NCTE’s work on immigration and immigration detention centers, with which NQAPIA has been a proud partner.

This week, NQAPIA also welcomed our summer 2014 intern. Rothana Oun comes to us from Georgia State University via the internship program at OCA: Asian Pacific American Advocates. His own journey to Washington, DC has been an interesting one, and throughout the course of the summer, he will be sharing highlights with us all. Below is his first installment:

 

My name is Rothana Oun. I am a first-generation college senior at Georgia State University in Atlanta,GA, studying Creative Writing, Asian Studies, and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. I am second-generation Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA). Of Cambodian/Chinese/Thai descent, which means, to make use of the retronymic slash, I do/am Asian. I do/am many things in addition to a myriad of identities and performativities of which I am proud to partake in. That is to say, I not only do/am Asian, I do/am Queer as well.

This summer, I am interning with NQAPIA (The National Queer Asian Pacific Alliance) through OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates in Washington DC. An Atlanta native more acquainted with grass-roots community organizing, advocacy, and activisms on a state and local level, I have traveled from the South to D.C. to learn more about politics on the federal level, API (Asian Pacific Islander) and Queer politics in particular, and about the processes of policy and legislation in the so-called political heart of the nation.

Today, in fact, marks the end of the first week of my internship. And I’ve done so much it seems already. But I can’t wait to do and experience more.

On my first day at work, for example, I did my first spreadsheet ever on Excel, which I have to admit was kinda cool in a “not so sexy way” experience to have working in a formal office-environment. Even more excitingly, I attended an ice-cream social on my first day, and after work, my boss took me out to meet up with some of his friends/colleagues  from the Queer Southeast Asian Network who happened to be in town for a conference. This event marked the first time in my life that I had ever come face-to-face with fellow Southeast Asians—who not only openly identified as Queer, but who were also involved in progressive and/or radical politics.

Back home in Atlanta, whenever I attend a local demonstration, protest, rally, or participate in radical/progressive spaces, I find that I am often the only Southeast Asian, and most times than not, the only API present in such contexts. So meeting these Queer Southeast Asian activists was exhilarating and honestly one of the best things that I have ever experienced. Most, if not all of the cool peeps that I met that night are now my friends on Facebook, which means of course, that our connections are now pretty legit lol.

Cheers! To networking, to building family aways-aways from home.

Until next time, yours truly,

The Rothster

 

Transitions- New Knowledge and New Arrivals

The 13th Annual Philadelphia Transhealth Conference took place this week, and NQAPIA was on hand along with 3,000 of our closest friends in trans and gender non-conforming communities from around the country. NQAPIA led a workshop on “Creating Multilingual Resources for Parents of Transgender AAPIs” and brought together an informal meet-up of our friends and family to share a meal and share information about local and national work.

Many of our friends and allies provided great programming throughout the conference. We has a total #nerdcrush at the opening keynote for Janet Mock as she talked about her upbringing in Hawai`i, the current conversations about transgender women of color, and what it means for all of us. The Friday keynote featured our friend Harper Jean Tobin from the National Center for Transgender Equality about her work on a wide array of issues of concern to transgender communities, including NCTE’s work on immigration and immigration detention centers, with which NQAPIA has been a proud partner.

This week, NQAPIA also welcomed our summer 2014 intern. Rothana Oun comes to us from Georgia State University via the internship program at OCA: Asian Pacific American Advocates. His own journey to Washington, DC has been an interesting one, and throughout the course of the summer, he will be sharing highlights with us all. Below is his first installment:

 

My name is Rothana Oun. I am a first-generation college senior at Georgia State University in Atlanta,GA, studying Creative Writing, Asian Studies, and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. I am second-generation Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA). Of Cambodian/Chinese/Thai descent, which means, to make use of the retronymic slash, I do/am Asian. I do/am many things in addition to a myriad of identities and performativities of which I am proud to partake in. That is to say, I not only do/am Asian, I do/am Queer as well.

This summer, I am interning with NQAPIA (The National Queer Asian Pacific Alliance) through OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates in Washington DC. An Atlanta native more acquainted with grass-roots community organizing, advocacy, and activisms on a state and local level, I have traveled from the South to D.C. to learn more about politics on the federal level, API (Asian Pacific Islander) and Queer politics in particular, and about the processes of policy and legislation in the so-called political heart of the nation.

Today, in fact, marks the end of the first week of my internship. And I’ve done so much it seems already. But I can’t wait to do and experience more.

On my first day at work, for example, I did my first spreadsheet ever on Excel, which I have to admit was kinda cool in a “not so sexy way” experience to have working in a formal office-environment. Even more excitingly, I attended an ice-cream social on my first day, and after work, my boss took me out to meet up with some of his friends/colleagues  from the Queer Southeast Asian Network who happened to be in town for a conference. This event marked the first time in my life that I had ever come face-to-face with fellow Southeast Asians—who not only openly identified as Queer, but who were also involved in progressive and/or radical politics.

Back home in Atlanta, whenever I attend a local demonstration, protest, rally, or participate in radical/progressive spaces, I find that I am often the only Southeast Asian, and most times than not, the only API present in such contexts. So meeting these Queer Southeast Asian activists was exhilarating and honestly one of the best things that I have ever experienced. Most, if not all of the cool peeps that I met that night are now my friends on Facebook, which means of course, that our connections are now pretty legit lol.

Cheers! To networking, to building family aways-aways from home.

Until next time, yours truly,

The Rothster

 

Washington, DC Special Screening of “Documented” and Q&A featuring filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas- June 1, 2014

We are pleased to present a special screening of Jose Antonio Vargas’ film, “Documented” during its opening weekend in the nation’s capital.

Tickets are general admission- we STRONGLY encourage people to buy tickets online in advance here.
For the Sunday June 1 5pm showing, Jose will be on hand for a Q&A panel with leaders of local and national LGBT, Filipino American, and Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations.Further information is below. Please note: you MUST buy a ticket for general admission to see the film as you would normally in order to stay afterwards for the Q&A.The venue is a small, independent theater, seats will go quickly. We encourage people to come early and stay late!
Information for “Documented” Screening and Q&A Panel
Sunday, June 1, 5pm
West End Theater
2301 M Street, NW
5:00 PM Showing
Panel afterwards featuring local and national advocates, including:
Jose Antonio Vargas, Filmmaker and founder, Define American 
Mara Keisling, Executive Director National Center for Transgender Equality
Marita Etcubanez, Former Co-chair, Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress- DC Chapter
Ben de Guzman, Co-Director for Programs, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance 
Co-sponsors
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Center for Transgender Equality
Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress- DC Chapter
Asian Pacific Islander Queers United for Action (AQUA-DC)
Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sisters (APIQS)
KhushDC- South Asian LGBT Organization in Washington, DC
Check our our Facebook page here.

Love Through Adversity

Caption:  Proud to stand by fellow solidarity fasters Mara Keisling (National Center for Transgender Equality), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and Sharita Gruberg (Center for American Progress), along with our friends at NCTE and CAP.

LOVE THROUGH ADVERSITY

 

Today, I am not eating.

Not because of the latest diet fad, or because I can’t find organic vegetables.  I’m fasting for a cause I believe in- common sense immigration reform.

I’m joining the #Fast4Families for a one day solidarity fast, along with activists from LGBT AAPI communities around the country.  NQAPIA board members, staff, and partners are joining over 500 solidarity fasters from AAPI communities to push Congressional action on common sense immigration reform.

Tell Congress to act on common sense immigration reform, and raise your voice for the families that want to stay together.

Congress remains stuck in partisan bickering, but we need them to act now.  Our families across the country are waiting for a decision and can’t afford to wait any longer.  So we’re following the footsteps of human rights leaders like Mahatma Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, and now, sadly enough, Nelson Mandela who are no longer with us, but who energized their communities by fasting as protest to push for justice.

The note I left with the fasters says it all:  “LGBT people know how to love in the face of adversity.”  That’s why we #Fast4Families and bring our bodies and whole selves to the struggle.

Next week is your last chance to contact Congress before the end of this year’s session.  Add your voice to the chorus calling for immigration reform.

Fasting will not be easy, but I need to do this for our community.  And I know I’ll find strength when you join me in demanding justice for LGBT AAPI immigrants and all our families.

In hope,

Ben de Guzman

 

P.S.   Looking for another way to support our fast?  Please donate $10 today by clicking here.