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Washington, DC - The National Executive Board of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) voted to adopt a resolution to stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives and their demands for structural change, accountability, and justice for Black people.
With this new resolution, APALA resolves to work towards becoming an anti-racist organization, leveraging our power to build and deepen the investment of the labor movement and AAPI movement partners to stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, holding unions and elected representatives accountable for the ways they maintain structural racism and cause harm to our Black and Brown siblings, and promoting the defunding and demilitarization of the police and the investment in building Black communities by reallocating funds to education, housing, mental health, public health, and other programs.
APALA founding board member and UNITE HERE appointee, Alex Hing states, “Since our founding in 1992, we have always firmly believed that until all of us are free, none of us are free. That is why we marched for Rodney King, and why we will continue saying the names of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony Mcdade and all those whose lives were stolen. Black leaders have shown us that the fight for justice means looking at changes in the structures of law enforcement, our justice system, corporate power, and defending free and fair elections.”
APALA National Executive Board Member and UDW/ AFSCME 3930 appointee, Johanna Puno Hester states, “We recognize that over the course of our history, law enforcement and armed militias have been used as a tool by political and corporate elites in power to enact deadly violence not only against Black people and other communities of color, but also against unionized workers on strike. Therefore it is our role to work with our union siblings to ensure that unions remain a powerful tool for working people and progressive reform. We cannot let unions and collective bargaining agreements be used as a shield against abuse, brutality, criminal behavior and murder.”
APALA Board President and NEA appointee, Monica Thammarath states, “Systemic racism has been a plague since the founding of the history of the United States and our refusal to enact bold structural change continues to leave Black people in danger. In this moment as COVID-19 and the resulting health and economic crisis have hit Black people, Indigenous, undocumented folks and other people of color the hardest, it is more urgent than ever that we need to work together to dismantle capitalism and white supremacy and organize towards liberation for all of our communities.”
APALA National Executive Board Member and Minnesota Chapter President, and Executive Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, Jigme Ugen states, “Above all, we make this commitment out of love. We love our Black siblings, our Black neighbors and Black co-workers, and that is why it is our role to galvanize others in our AAPI communities to join the movement for Black liberation. In Minneapolis, as a community, we picked up pieces of broken glass and swept the streets in the morning, protested for justice through the day and volunteered to watch over neighborhoods at night. Our vision for collective liberation is far more compelling than any myths the model minority can spew or racist lie that we were taught growing up. History has shown us the power of cross-racial solidarity and it is this ethos that will guide us.
The full resolution text can be found here.