Over the past few months, on behalf of Red Canary Song, I have been bringing food, sanitizing provisions, and emergency relief funds to migrant massage workers in Flushing.
The first time I drove to Flushing to hand out resources to the workers, I was shy due to my poor Mandarin communication skills. But as I gave out cloth masks (handmade by a friend of mine), bags of groceries that I had packed the night before, and envelopes with legal resources, put together by our RCS members, and cash (donated by our communities), I overcame my shyness as it was such a simple and caring act that needed no extensive conversation or comprehension. Two of the women bowed to me deeply, as I do to the altar of my ancestors. The tears in their eyes brought the same to my own and I bowed deeply back. It's that simple. We honor one another with this basic act of humanity.
The next time I brought food to Flushing, a few of the women brought me food, as well-- the food they had made with their own hands. Zhong zhis and baos. This is a circle of care, of nourishment.
I am honored to be selected as a grantee by the Asian Womens Giving Circle to continue the documentary on the history of racially targeted discrimination against Asian Women in America (Page Act 1875), which has led to the current rise in police violence against Asian massage workers. Care circles for sustenance, survival, work, and storytelling. This is my work; this is our future.
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