Standing in Solidarity
The recent escalation in acts of violence and mistreatment of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities is deeply disturbing. San Francisco Opera stands against all anti-Asian bias and discrimination. We stand with all those in our communities who have been impacted by these horrific events, and we extend our solidarity and support to everyone in our AAPI communities.
Anti-Asian violence, hate, and discrimination are not new to this nation. The rhetoric of the pandemic has emboldened white supremacists to surface the long-standing anti-Asian racism that is embedded in American history. Events like the erasure of Chinese transcontinental railroad workers in the 1860s, the 1875 Page Act, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the 1942 Japanese internment, and the violence being perpetrated today against AAPI seniors all serve as reminders that Asian Americans have long been portrayed as perpetual foreigners. Too often the vital role that Asian American communities have had in building and enriching the social infrastructure and culture of America has gone unspoken and unrecognized. This must change.
We share in the feelings of helplessness, grief, and reflection of this moment, and there is nothing that we can say that will change the loss of life or the historical legacy of anti-Asian violence and the erasure of Asian American history and experiences in the United States. We acknowledge that part of opera history is seeded in cultural appropriation, unconscious bias, inequity, and exclusion, in ways we now understand to be harmful. We can do better and, as we strive to become an antiracist institution, we commit to finding more responsive and responsible ways to bring operas to the stage.
We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community and strive to be allies, as we learn how to use our stage to uplift AAPI stories and artists.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Below is an incomplete, but helpful list of resources that support AAPI populations and educate ourselves and our communities. Thank you to those who helped curate this information.
The following links provide information on hate crime bills. You can make your voice heard by writing to your state legislators in support.
Organizations to support:
- Donate to the funds of the affected families and Asian American community organizations
- Support Red Canary Song, a US-based grassroots organization for Asian and Migrant Sex Workers https://www.redcanarysong.net/
- stopaapihate.org A portal for gathering information and reporting/sharing stories in order to push for better protection, educational resources, and policies that can end incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying. It is put together by a coalition of nonprofits, organizers, and educators.
- Donate to support the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund: https://aapifund.org/
- Local groups to support and join in actions with:
1. Chinese Progressive Association https://cpasf.org/
2. AYPAL: https://www.aypal.org/
3. Compassion in Oakland: https://compassioninoakland.org/
4. Chinese for Affirmative Action: https://caasf.org/
- Learn more about the long history of Anti-Asian racism inside and outside the U.S. From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the U.S colonization of the Philippines. These events have lasting legacies on what is experienced today.
- Sign on to Asian Americans Advancing Justice’s collective community statement:
- Learn from and follow The Influential Point - A group of Traditional Asian Medicine practitioners committed to mobilizing the next wave of health justice leaders to radically transform healthcare and eradicating anti-Asian racism within the acupuncture field.https://www.influentialpoint.org/
- Share crisis response resources: bit.ly/georgiaAAPIcommunitycare
- APAC Community and Resources for Allies Provide information on how to take concrete actions to support APAC, AAPI, and the greater Asian communities.
Updated February 2021
Black Lives Matter.
San Francisco Opera commits to embodying the ideals of racial equity and social justice not just in words but in actions.
We are coming to understand the critical role the arts play in facilitating vital dialogue about race, bias, healing, and transformation. As a historically white, eurocentric institution, we must confront our own legacies of inequity. We have begun that process by becoming a learning organization, and we’ve instituted ongoing, organization-wide learning modules designed and implemented by our Department of Diversity, Equity and Community. Diversity training is available to all Company members, whether a staff administrator, a singer in the chorus, a member of the Board, or even the General Director. The modules offer study in history, race, privilege, power, and oppression. Participants are guided through critical dialogues that engage thinking around diversity, equity and inclusion.
We commit to continuing the examination of our complicity in perpetuating inequity and structural racism in the world of opera. To date, the Company has established its first board committee focused on equity. This is the first time in San Francisco Opera history that a committee has been composed of both board members and non-managerial staff.
Our aim is to be transparent about the ways in which we have been holding ourselves accountable for fostering the progressive actions we’ve committed to. To quote Dr. Vincent Matthews, Superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District, “The heart of an antiracist system is personal, professional and system-wide accountability.” We look forward to continuing to share and talk about the steps we take and not only the ways in which we are successful, but also the ways in which we are challenged to grow.