In a perfect world, all of our differences are celebrated. We listen to each other and learn from one another, all in order to grow together. Though the world we live in is far from perfect, maybe we can bring each other just a few steps closer if we push ourselves to listen, acknowledge, show our support, and appreciate each other and our stories.
As AAPI Heritage Month progresses, some of us may not know how to support our Asian American and Pacific Islander friends, family, and acquaintances. Below is a curated list of ways Detroiters can support, learn from, listen to, and celebrate those in our life during this month of celebration and education.
Throughout the rest of this month, chefs and restaurants are combining delicious, local takeout food with awareness of violence and racism against those in the AAPI community. Each five-course meal for two will include dishes from restaurants such as Takoi, Bangkok 96, Flowers of Vietnam and many others. Nearly 70% of the proceeds will be donated to local AAPI organizations. Tickets for Sunday, May 23rd or Sunday, May 30th can still be reserved.
SUPPORTING BUSINESSES IN THE METRO AREA
For us at Detroitisit, supporting local businesses is an integral part of what we do as well as what we promote. Supporting those throughout the country and/or worldwide is important, but those in Detroit and the greater area are integral to this city, so why not begin here? Metro Parent has put together an excellent list of AAPI-owned businesses in the Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro Area, giving Detroiters an excellent jumping-off point in terms of local support. This list includes restaurants, education centers, makeup studios, and more.
Model D has also curated an inclusive list of 12 of Metro Detroit’s Asian American female leaders. The women each have their own strong niche in the community and have deep influence as well. Their words, both encouraging and enlightening, show the great impact women, as well as people of color, have in leadership roles.
INCLUDING RACIALLY DIVERSE READS
Education is a two-way street. We can be taught anything and everything, but our personal understanding of information comes from our want to learn and retain. As Star Trek put it in their opening monologue, “To seek out new life and new civilization.” Reading books, both fictional and non-fictional, can be an excellent way of furthering our understanding of what we learn.
As a starting point, we have a curated list of books ranging from informational books such as the Making of Asian America by Erika Lee to young adult contemporary fiction novels like Frankly in Love by David Yoon. For those who wish to include books in their children’s collections, USA Today has a list of children’s and young adult books by AAPI authors.
DONATING TO AN AAPI SUPPORT FUND
Knowing which AAPI causes to donate to can be difficult, but Insider’s list of funds and their descriptions aid in decisions. The list includes nonprofits such as 2020 founded Hate is a Virus, which offers funds to improve safety for AAPI elderly and offers mental health services, and Red Canary Song which gives aid to sex workers and advocates for decriminalization of sex work in the New York area. Read their list to find the best-suited place to donate to and support.
LEARNING FROM AND LISTENING TO FRIENDS & FAMILY
Possibly one of the most important ways to show support to loved ones and the AAPI community is by listening to and learning from those in our lives. Their story is uniquely their own, and creating open and safe communication with the ones we love can help to make them feel heard and loved in their own hardships, getting us just that much closer to a better world for everyone.