Archive for September, 2006

Today Detroit Asian Youth Project, a youth initiative I’ve been involved with since its inception, organized a dialogue with Hmong youth at Osborn High School about the Warren shooting. About a dozen high school youth attended, including a teacher and counselor from Osborn. Youth shared what they heard about the shooting and what actually took place, contrasting what the media has reported so far. The Warren police, notorious for their racist reputation, hasn’t been very cooperative with releasing investigative details.

What I took away from the dialogue was a sense of hope about the youth who spoke up about the anger they felt, and a recognition that such injustices must be confronted with community action. They spoke with insight and candidness about their life experiences, the realities of racial discrimination, urban life and police harassment. This tragedy brings forth an important opportunity for the Hmong community, particularly its young people, to bring visibility to its community and organize for social change.

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Josh, a colleague/friend and saavy community media organizer, has a great introduction to blogging on his website. I’ve found it really useful for those who are just starting out like myself. So much to learn!

So in the spirit of showing gratitude, I want to thank the folks who have inspired me to explore this blogging thing for myself. The first time I actually considered blogging happened when at a panel I attended at this year’s AMC about women of color bloggers: Thank you, Brownfemipower and blac(k)ademic, for affirming our voices as women of color/queer people of color, and for insisting that we tell our stories. Thanks, omnicrisis for creating and developing a really dope blog. Thanks LucidAmbition for constantly blogging in our apartment. And thanks, blackatmichigan for being one of the first POC blogs that I started reading. There are many others to thank, and it’s getting late, so you’ll be getting some blog time on future posts.

wsoft.heart???

Some people have been asking me what wsoft.heart stands for. I’d be more interested in hearing what the community thinks it means. Post your ideas in the comment box.

I heard about this incident a week ago. But my own anger and pain just caught up to me. Last night I cried my heart out.

Detroit News – Official: Shooting by police ‘justified’
Autopsy: 27 bullet wounds in teenager killed by Warren police

Earlier this month, I was blessed with the chance to go to San Diego for a 5-day Buddhist retreat for people of color. The Soul of Gratitude Retreat was offered by Thich Nhat Hanh, a well-known and prolific Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, and the monastics of Deer Park Monastery. It’s the first time I’ve seen anything in the U.S. that is geared for buddhists of color. What’s more is that they offer safe spaces for all sorts of idenities, including queer folks, activists, and young adults. I’m excited to see how my life will unfold as I continue the practice. Thanks to Joe Reilly for turning me on to such a special gathering.