Southeast Asians for Black Lives

Open Letter from Christy & Bea , June 2020

Black Lives Matter.

Tuk Tuk Box was created to uplift our community and bring awareness of Southeast Asian culture to mainstream platforms, your kitchen, and beyond. We are a curated meal kit subscription that delivers straight to your door every month. This week was slated for our soft launch, however we decided to postpone to hold space and honor Black lives. We stand in support of justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Stephon Clark, Emmett Till, and for all the innocent lives lost in the history of the United States.

As two daughters of Asian immigrants and refugees, we recognize that a path has been paved for our Southeast Asian families by the African American community. We know it is our duty and strongly believe that we, as Asian American allies, need to stand up against the injustices with our Black brothers and sisters to continue the fight for #BlackLivesMatter and break down the walls of systemic and racial oppression.

In solidarity, our Vietnamese American sister and artist, Tina Nguyen drew inspiration from past allyships between Asians and Black Power. Her design transformed what was once an animalistic trope and recreated it to fit a more appropriate illustration that centers around Black power, love, and light. White supremacy has pit our communities against each other through scarce resources, circulating the model minority myth, and creating a dependency on the Amerikkkan government. Today, we join hands to say enough is enough!

Here’s some ways Tuk Tuk Box is fighting back the system:

Donating:

We are selling the ‘Southeast Asians 4 Black Lives’ 11x17 poster. Proceeds raised will be donated to our friends at The Black Food Sovereignty Coalition (@blackfoodnw) a collaboration hub for Black and Brown communities to confront the systemic barriers that typically make food, place, and economic opportunities inaccessible.

Advancing advocacy & supporting the community:

To our Southeast Asian and greater Asian community, we understand that talking to family members and finding ways to educate ourselves on the history of #BlackLivesMatter and decolonizing our life is the first step to being part of the change. We encourage you to join us in allyship by supporting Black businesses, organizations, and most importantly educating yourselves. Remember that the revolution has many lanes.

To help you get started and be part of the change you can find at: Southeast Asian Anti-Racist Toolkit by SEArising

Black friends, family, colleagues, and community, we stand with you. Below you’ll find translations (to the best of our knowledge) from the Southeast Asian diaspora. SEA friends, please correct us if we are wrong. Remember we’re all learning and unlearning.

Black Lives Matter
Indonesian: Hidup Orang Berkulit Hitam Penting
Tagalog: sinusuportahan ko po ang kilusan ng Black Lives Matter
Vietnamese: Sinh mạng Người Da đen Đáng Trọng
Khmer: សម្រាប់ជីវិតមនុស្សស្បែកខ្មៅ
Malay Bhasa: saya menyokong pergerakan Black Lives Matter.
Thai: คนดำก็มีความหมาย
Lao: ຊີວິດຂອງຄົນດຳມີຄວາມສຳຄັນ
Burmese: လူမည်းတွေရဲ့ဘဝဟာကျိုးနပ်ပါတယ်
White Hmong: Neeg Dub Txoj Sia Muaj Nqi
Green Hmong: Yog vim le has taag lug nuav, kuv txha le paab txhawb “Black Lives Matter” los yog “Neeg Dlub Txuj Sa Muaj Nqe”

We center the safety of the Black community at Tuk Tuk Box. We embrace and honor areas of discomfort and encourage healthy ways for us to collectively heal and grow. We speak only from personal experience and we believe that all Black Lives Matter.

Sending Peace + Love,

Beatriz Aurelio-Saguin & Christy Innouvong-Thornton, Founders, Tuk Tuk Box

Resources: 

Black Owned Businesses  

NY Mag's List of Black Owned Businesses to support

Southeast Asian Anti-Racist Toolkit by SEArising

Letters for Black Lives 

Mental Health Resources For Black And African American Communities provided by Judy Jackson of WPP. 

  • Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM): BEAM is a training, movement building and grant making organization dedicated to the healing, wellness, and liberation of Black communities. BEAM envisions a world where there are no barriers to Black Healing. 
    • Toolkits & Education: graphics on accountability, self-control, and emotional awareness; journal prompts; articles on Black mental health
    • Videos: trainings and webinars, recorded and available for free
  • The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation: changing the perception of mental illness in the African-American community by encouraging people to get the help they need; focuses on stigma/self-stigma reduction and building trust between Black people and the mental health field.
    • Resource Guide: directory of mental health providers and programs that serve the Black community; includes therapists, support groups, etc, but also digital content, faith-based programs, educational programs, etc
    • GrillzandGranola: an MWBE certified company that was created for underrepresented women of color to have more access to inclusive and culturally-attuned wellness experiences. They champion mental and physical health with classes, mental health coaching and wellness workshops for the BIPOC community.
    • Mirielle Therapy Practice: specializes in helping early and mid-career stage women who are looking to make important changes in their lives.
  • Therapy for Black Girls: online space encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls; referral tool to find a therapist in your area
    • Therapist Directory: find trusted therapists that can help you navigate being a strong, Black woman; can search for in-office therapist by your location or virtual therapist
    • The Yellow Couch Collective: a paid membership community ($9.99/mo), space for Black women to gather to support, encourage, and learn from each other.
  • The Loveland Foundation: financial assistance to Black women & girls seeking therapy
  • Therapy for Black Men: primarily a therapist directory for Black men seeking therapy; includes some resources and stories
  • Dr. Ebony’s My Therapy Cards: self-exploration card deck created by a Black female psychologist for other women of color; created with the intention of helping other women of color grow and elevate in the areas of emotional and mental health.
  • Innopsych: InnoPsych’s mission is to bring healing to communities of color by changing the face and feel of therapy. They strive to make therapists of color more visible in the community by creating a path to wellness-themed business ownership; to make it faster (and easier) for people of color to match with a therapist of color; and to create a major shift in how communities of color (or POCs) view therapy.

Partnerships And Resources

The following organizations are among those that offer additional information on this subject, focusing on outreach to  Black and African American communities:

Capstone Institute/Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk, Howard University

Black and African American LGBTQ Youth Report

National Black Nurses Association

National Medical Association

Lee Thompson Young Foundation