Dear Aseemkala Team, Friends, and Supporters,
These past few weeks have been incredibly challenging. We honestly have been wanting to share a few thoughts but have been having a hard time trying to even string together the words that truly capture the nuanced emotions we are all feeling.
People like Hasan Minhaj, Trevor Noah, and Deepa Iyer have written and spoken truth to power, denouncing the racism and systemic oppression of Black lives while also noting that other communities need to reflect on how we are complicit. All of this while many of us work in ICUs, watching race, class, and access play out in this pandemic. All of this while watching people courageously protest and face police brutality again. All of us aware of our privilege, desiring to help, but critical of empty posts, protests, or performance. Yet we still share a desire to do exactly that. The question becomes how we turn the unspeakable into action.
Trevor Noah shared his thoughts on that very same question–what is enough and is any of this doing anything at all. In short, his answer is yes. This matters. Protests matter. Speaking up matters. Surviving matters. Performance matters. Most of all, listening to what our brown and black colleagues need from us (whether it’s our voice, our calls to our government officials, our posts and protests, our financial support of Black and Brown owned businesses, or a moment of silence) matters.
There is a lot of intersectionality here at Aseemkala–of identities, of privilege, of struggle, of insecurities and concerns around being genuine in supporting Black and Brown colleagues, of love for our families and culture yet a desire to shatter some oppressive beliefs and biases. We want to be clear that our community is a safe space. We are here to learn from and lean on each other. If we can improve around supporting Black, Brown, and other anti-oppression movements, please let us know. If there are questions or concerns, always feel free and confident to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is one small way of saying all of us at the Aseemkala Initiative are joining communities across the country in standing up and demanding justice…demanding change. One conversation and one movement at a time.
With all of our love,
Shilpa, Rohini, and Sriya