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CPA Blog Spot
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
For 40 years CPA has been organizing and has been able to bring different people together --- youth, women, immigrants, workers, families, tenants, small businesses, seniors to take a stand for justice and dignity of people. It has not been easy but we have been on the right side of history.
Activism and the arts have always been closely intertwined for me. Before I joined campus organizations that focused on political empowerment, I read books by Sandra Cisneros and Sonia Sanchez after school in the public library. I loved poetry by women of color who were speaking out not only against injustice, but were also producing work that transformed the struggles of oppressed communities into something tangibly life-affirming and empowering. The potential of genuine human connections drew me to writing as a form of activism. I was excited to hear that one of our dinner series talks during the Eva Lowe Fellowship would be on art and culture, featuring poet Kenji Liu and Xicana activist-artist Melanie Cervantes.
Several weeks ago, four Asian American organizations filed a brief with the Supreme Court against affirmative action policies at the University of Texas, arguing race-conscious admissions discriminated against Asian American applicants. I couldn’t decide what disappointed me the most - my frustration that my brothers and sisters refused to understand our history as part of a continuous mosaic of struggle, or the confusion about the ambiguous role Asian Americans play in movements for economic and social equity.
I still remember clearly how excited I was when I found out that I was admitted as one of the Fellows for the summer. The one-month experience I had with CPA was continuously energizing, and has largely reshaped my understanding of community organizing.