Open E.A.R.S. for Change is an ongoing initiative that provides a multi-pronged, multi-layered approach to reach generations and individuals of color who are at varying stages of understanding about BLM and Black-Asian community relations. Through holding various conversations with community partners and organizers, OACC has been developing the “Open E.A.R.S. for Change” program. “E.A.R.S.” stands for Engage. Activate. Rise-up. Series. This will be an on-going project that aims to build stronger allyship among our API audiences with local Black communities in order to foster a more diverse and inclusive culture in our communities that is anti-racist and anti-discriminatory in the Oakland/East Bay Community. The two key objectives of the series are 1) address anti-blackness in API communities and meaningfully confront issues of colorism/racism in a safe space; and 2) address Black-Asian community relations specifically in the Oakland Chinatown area. This new series relates to the purpose and intent of the Humanities for All grant as it is a locally-initiated project designed to address the needs and interests of our local API communities based in California. The program encourages greater public participation in humanities programming through literary arts by encouraging deep conversations around ethnic studies and the history of racial/social injustices in America. Most importantly, the program aims to promote understanding and empathy among local and regional communities of color in California to help cultivate a thriving democracy.
“Open E.A.R.S. for Change” has several different target audiences to achieve more inclusive participation and engagement. One priority group that this series would like to engage are older, first-generation populations. We are seeing younger generations (millenials and Gen-Z) as prominent demographics in social and racial justice movements.
Funded by Oakland, CA (November 2020)