Striving for Justice

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Resources for Teachers

June 2020 and Black Lives Matter

Video Resources and Guiding Questions


  • What moments in this film stood out for you? Why?
  • Were there any surprises? Anything that challenged what you know — or thought you knew?
  • What messages, emotions or ideas will you take away from this film? Why?
  • What questions do you still have?

Violence Against Asian American and Pacific Islander 

Asia Society, The Rise of ‘Dehumanizing’ Anti-Asian Racism in the U.S. 

  • Description: In this short clip, Dr. Russell Jeung, a co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, speaks about the reports his group has received about verbal harassment, physical attacks, and bullying against Asians and Asian Americans from across the United States.
  • Focus Question for The Rise of ‘Dehumanizing’ Anti-Asian Racism in the U.S.: How can we best respond to the dire situation created by acts of Anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander racism and hate?
  • Discussion Questions:
    • Why does Russell Jeung state that the situation here in the United States is dire?
    • What does it mean to dehumanize someone? Why do you think that these attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders often attempt to dehumanize them?
    • How should we respond to this dire situation? How can we ensure that the people and the government address this situation?

Learning for Justice, Min Jee’s Lunch 

  • Description: A short story for young students that can be used to begin conversations about stereotypes and the value of speaking up.
  • Focus Questions for Min Jee’s Lunch: What is a stereotype? Why is it important for us to be aware of stereotypes? How should we respond when we see or hear someone use a stereotype?
  • Discussion Questions (from Learning for Justice):
    • Why was Min Jee extra excited for lunch at the beginning of the story?
    • How did Audrey’s comments make Min Jee feel? Why?
    • Why is it wrong to make assumptions about people or groups like the ones Audrey made about Asian people?
    • Ella and Gabriel wished they had stood up for Min Lee. When is a time you have stood up for a friend, someone has stood up for you, or you have seen someone stand up for someone else?

Gothamist/WNYC, Demonstrators, Elected Officials Rally After Surge In Anti-Asian Hate And Violence

  • Description: This article describes a Rise Up Against Asian Hate rally that took place on February 27, 2021 at Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan, and highlights the response of community activists to the recent waves of anti-Asian attacks.
  • Focus Question for Demonstrators, Elected Officials Rally After Surge in Anti-Asian Hate and Violence: How do coalitions come together to organize for change and to protect a community?
  • Discussion Questions:
    • Who are some of the groups and individuals at the rally against Anti-Asian hate and violence, and what were their reasons for speaking out?
    • What do the groups and individuals who attended the rally agree on? What are some of the differences in their perspectives?
    • What are some of the emotions that people who attended the rally expressed? What are some of their ideas for how to respond to anti-Asian bias and violence? How are emotion and activism connected?
    • Select a sentence from the article that stands out to you. The sentence can be informative, interesting, notable, or elicits an emotional response. Share the sentence with your class and explain what it means to you.

PBS, Asian Americans, The Fight for Ethnic Studies

  • Description: A video depicting the student-led efforts that resulted in the 1969 launch of the first Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, and later San Francisco State.
  • Focus Question for The Fight for Ethnic Studies: Why did students in the late 1960s at San Francisco State fight for Ethnic Studies? How did that fight build coalitions between Asian American students and other student groups?
  • Discussion Questions:
    • How did the civil rights movement and fight for Black Studies at San Francisco State influence the activism of Asian American students at the college? What other circumstances do you think influenced the protests of Asian American students at the college?
    • In what ways did different groups at San Francisco State find common ground in their protests?
    • What was the Third World Liberation Front? What were its goals?

PBS, Asian Americans, The Impact of the Vincent Chin Case

  • Description: A video on the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin, a pivotal moment in civil rights history. It is the first time that federal hate crime laws are used in a case involving an Asian American victim.
  • Focus Question for The Impact of the Vincent Chin Case: Why was the Vincent Chin case a pivotal moment in civil rights history?
  • Discussion Questions:
    • How were the results of the trials of Ronald Ebans and Michael Nitz in the killing of Vincent Chin a catalyst for protest in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community?
    • How were the results of the trials of Ronald Ebans and Michael Nitz representative of anti-Asian and Asian American racism and violence in United States history?
    • How did the Asian American community in the Detroit area respond to the Vincent Chin case? How did their initial response grow?
    • What did Jesse Jackson mean when he stated, “We have been drawn here together by death, an unplanned family reunion”? How is Jackson’s response similar to some people’s response to anti-Asian American racism at present?
    • What is the legacy of the Vincent Chin case?

PBS, Asian Americans, Women Advancing Equality

  • Description: A video about Asian American Congresswoman Patsy Mink, who co-authored Title IX, a law to ensure that no one will be discriminated against in education and federally-funded activities based on gender, and supported civil rights legislation.
  • Focus Question for Women Advancing Equality: How did Patsy Mink fight to advance equality for everyone in the United States?
  • Discussion Questions:
    • Who was Patsy Mink? What obstacles did Patsy Mink face in running for Congress?
    • How did Patsy Mink advocate for the passage of civil rights legislation?
    • What was Patsy Mink’s impact on advancing equality for all Americans?

PBS NewsHour, Asian Americans Face a Wave of Discrimination During the Pandemic

  • Description: PBS News Hour correspondent Amna Nawaz interviews Asian American and Pacific Islander activist Helen Zia and Rise founder Amanda Nguyen to discuss the recent surge in Anti-Asian violence and racism.
  • Focus Question for Asian Americans Face a Wave of Discrimination During the Pandemic: What has led to the rise in Anti-Asian violence and racism? What can we do about it?
  • Discussion Questions:
    • What has led to the recent surge in racism and violence directed towards Asian and Asian Americans? How are these occurrences linked to events in the past?
    • According to Helen Zia, how is Anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander violence the result of systemic racism and white supremacy?
    • How are these attacks affecting people as they also respond to the COVID pandemic?
    • What should be done in response to this wave of discrimination as well as the larger aspects that connect to issues of systemic racism?

PBS NewsHour,‘The Problem with Apu’ and the American Immigrants Stories that Aren’t Being Told

  • Description: An interview with comedian Hari Kondaboluon exclusion and stereotyping in American media, with a particular focus on the character of Apu from “The Simpsons.”
  • Focus Question for ‘The Problem with Apu’ and the American Immigrants Stories that Aren’t Being Told: How have South Asian immigrants been portrayed in the media?
  • Discussion Questions:
    • What is Hari Kondabolu’s position on the character of Apu from The Simpsons?
    • Hari Kondabolu says that stereotypical impressions of a group of people are a way of silencing that group of people. What do you think he means by that?
    • Hari Kondabolu states that we should work harder to tell the real stories of people, including immigrants, because it helps to humanize them. What does it mean to humanize a group of people?
    • How might stereotypical caricatures lead to the mistreatment of people? What should we do about it?
    • Can you think of other examples of stereotypes from popular movies or tv that are accepted by the mainstream? What can we do about them?

American Social History Project, A Chinese Immigrant Recalls the Dangers of Railroad Work · SHEC: Resources for Teachers

  • Description: A book excerpt detailing the extreme danger taken on by thousands of Chinese immigrants who worked in railroad construction in the West from the 1860s to the 1880s.
  • Focus Question for A Chinese Immigrant Recalls the Dangers of Railroad Work: How does the work experience of Chinese workers give a window into the lives of Asian immigrants 150 years ago?
  • Discussion Questions:
    • What were some of the dangers that Chinese workers faced while working on the Railroad?
    • Why do you think the workers agreed to work under such dangerous conditions?
    • What impact did building the Transcontinental Railroad have on the environment?
    • There are few written records left by Chinese immigrants who worked on the railroad from the 1860s to the 1880s. What sources of information can we use to learn about the lives and work of Chinese workers in the 19 Century?
    • How can we connect the experiences of Chinese workers in railroad construction to contemporary examples of Anti-Asian American racism? What does this tell us about structural racism and inequality?

Mental Health Resources

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