As an organization and as individuals, we are committed to anti-racism work. It’s been just over two months since our initial statement of response to the wrongful deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Nina Pop. We do not forget Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and countless others. The list of names has only grown. It is still Black Lives Matter. At the time of our initial response, the Reel Asian team, of which there were 7 of us, privately fundraised to support Black organizations and Black causes. For transparency and in hopes of encouraging our fellow arts and media organizations to donate, support, and commit to anti-racism, we’ve outlined who we are supporting and donating to and the sum of each give. None of this is anything without solidarity. We continue to take action against racism as an organization and as individuals.
We know firsthand how transformative the arts can be. sisterhood media distributes and showcases films by filmmakers from marginalized communities along with content that is created by in-house creatives led by an all Black-femme team. Reel Asian worked with sisterhood media last year when they were a community partner and guest host of Turning Point at #reelasian23 and we look forward to doing more work together. Until then, we whole-heartedly support their vision and have given sisterhood media monetary support of $1,000.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission recently issued a report that shows “Black people are more likely to be arrested, charged, shot, and killed by Toronto police,” a matter that has been evident for an innumerable amount of years and spoken of by the Black community. The Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) provides free legal services to low and no income Black Ontarians. Their work is crucial to fighting the on-going anti-Black racism present in Canada. In addition to providing legal services, their website is also an excellent resource for everyone to learn about the current cases of which their initiatives align with such as their demand for the independent Investigation into the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet. We have donated $1,425 to BLAC.
Supporting Our Youth (SOY)
Black Trans Lives Matter. Black Queer Lives Matter. Supporting Our Youth works to support the health and well-being of all queer and trans spectrum youth by running groups, programs and events and by providing one-on-one support for queer, trans and questioning youth who are 29 years old and under. We have donated $1,425 to SOY for their Black Queer Youth program.
Additionally, we would also like to thank everyone who donated to the Kim’s Off the Boat fundraiser hosted by the casts of Kim’s Convenience, Fresh Off the Boat, and Jeff Yang after it pivoted from a fundraiser for Reel Asian’s Unsung Voices program to raising money for BLM initiatives through Asian Artists for Black Lives. $223 was raised on the Canadian side of the fundraising campaign then matched at a total of $446 by Jeff Yang and Hudson Yang and donated to the AA4BL campaign which splits donations evenly among Black Lives Matter Support Fund at Tides Foundation, Louisville Community Bail Fund, Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute, and Transgender Law Center.