The Artists at Play team is compiling a list of resources and recommendations if you want to take action, donate to an organization, reflect with your families, and more. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, and that we will continue to grow this list in the coming days. We also invite you to further your learning with your own research and reflection.
Updated 4/6/21 with new section: Mental Health/Self Care/Healing
Anti-racism resources to support Asian American, Pacific Islander community – by Kate Lý Johnston, NBC News
We start by sharing TIME‘s Reading List to Celebrate Asian Authors, From Members of TIME‘s Asian Community. “Asian staffers in TIME’s newsroom share the books that have brought them hope, comfort and joy. This list is not intended to educate, but to celebrate. To celebrate the richness, the diversity and the joy of stories by our community, for our community, and curated by our community. The books below resonated with each of us—and we hope they might make you feel, in some way, seen as well.” For readers looking to purchase these books, check out this list of AAPI-owned bookstores.
Some personal recommendations from the Artists at Play team:
- Malaya: Essays on Freedom by Cinelle Barnes
Lyrical, emotionally driven, and told through stories both lived and overheard, Cinelle’s intensely personal, yet universal, exploration of race, class, and identity redefines what it means to be a woman—and an American—in a divided country.
- Whiter: Asian American Women on Skin Color and Colorism by Nikki Khanna
In Whiter, thirty Asian-American women provide first-hand accounts of their experiences with colorism in this collection of powerful, accessible, and brutally honest essays, edited by Nikki Khanna. This compelling collection covers a wide range of topics, including light-skin privilege, aspirational whiteness, and anti-blackness. Whiter amplifies the diverse voices of Asian-American women who continue to bravely challenge the power of skin color in their own lives.
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose the truth of racialized consciousness in America.
- Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In by Phuc Tran
For anyone who has ever felt like they don’t belong, Sigh, Gone shares an irreverent, funny, and moving tale of displacement and assimilation woven together with poignant themes from beloved works of classic literature.
- I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir by Malaka Gharib
I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir is a triumphant tale of self-discovery, a celebration of a family’s rich heritage, and a love letter to American immigrant freedom.
- Malaya: Essays on Freedom by Cinelle Barnes
- Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha
A powerful and taut novel about racial tensions in LA, following two families—one Korean-American, one African-American—grappling with the effects of a decades-old crime
- Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha
Community Organizations and Mutual Aid Groups
Community grassroots organizations and mutual aid groups do a lot to support vulnerable communities who are often overlooked and fall through the cracks. The pandemic and rise in anti-Asian violence has brought the work of these groups to the forefront of the fight for justice.
Auntie Sewing Squad
Ktown for All
Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (CCED)
LA API Giving Circle
Families and Kids
Kids as young as 3 years old are able to categorize people based on racial and ethnic identities. It is important that parents, caregiver, teachers and other adults have age appropriate conversations about race with children and youth.
- Some of the great learning resources out there include picture books from Lee & Low Books, an Asian American-owned publishing company dedicated to diversity and inclusion in their titles.
- PBS KIDS Talks About Race & Racism with National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman is a 30-minute program of conversations between real children and their parents. The show looks at race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way and offers viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home.
- And one of our favorites, Radical Cram School is a kid-centric, unscripted web series created by artist Kristina Wong that empowers Asian girls and all kids of color to embrace their identities, fight for social justice, and be the revolution.
Film and Video
The decades-long history of Asian American filmmaking helps tell the vast stories of our diverse communities. Here are a few recent projects to learn from and enjoy.
- The Donut King Documentary tells the rags to riches story of a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut – told within the context of the Cambodian genocide. Available on Amazon Prime.
- In The Claudia Kishi Club, Asian American creatives pay passionate tribute to the iconic, stereotype-busting “Baby-Sitters Club” character in this heartfelt document story. Available on Netflix.
- “Asian Americans” delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. As America becomes more diverse, and more divided while facing unimaginable challenges, how do we move forward together? Told through intimate personal stories, the series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played.
Here are some of our favorite Asian American creators on Instagram. From a mental health professional to a travel blogger, a group dedicated to Gen Z Asian American artists and parenting resources, Instagram has become an important resource for information.
Mental Health/Self Care/Healing
Taking care of our mental health is so important, especially when we are engaging in this work that involves emotional labor. These recommendations include crisis hotlines, a directory of Asian, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian American therapists, and guided meditation.
- Asian Mental Health Collective asianmhc.org
- SAMHSA National Hotline (800) 662-HELP
- Healing Asian Communities Circles: Therapist-led community sessions (FREE) https://circles.modernhealth.com/series/healing-asian-communities
- Asian Mental Health Project https://asianmentalhealthproject.com/
- National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) nqapia.org
- Project Lotus https://www.theprojectlotus.org/
- Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741
- National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association https://www.naapimha.org/
- Asian, Pacific Islander and South Asian American Therapist Directory www.asianmhc.org/apisaa
- Guided Meditation & Hypnotherapy http://mindspahypnotherapy.com/
Arts institutions are closed to in-person visitors, but museums have always served as a place for healing, learning and celebration of our communities. When it is safe to do so, please visit
California African American Museum
Chinese American Museum
Japanese American National Museum
Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum
And while not a museum, FilAm ARTS creates cultural programming across Los Angeles.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. They’re nationally located in Washington, D.C. with affiliates in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Atlanta.
- Since 1981, the Asian American Journalists Association has been advocating for fair and nuanced coverage of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the media, and providing support and training for journalists of color. During the pandemic, AAJA has been a resource for journalists covering the increase of anti-Asian hate incidents and the March 16 shootings in Atlanta.
- Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center a dynamic national resource for discovering why the Asian Pacific American experience matters every day, everywhere, and all of the time. Their online offerings include resources to #StopAsianHate, a video series breaking down Asian Pacific American bias, and opportunities to learn about history, art and culture.
We love listening to podcasts … from NPR’s Code Switch to Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen’s new project.
- Check out Potluck: An Asian American Podcast Collective for a diverse roster of Asian American podcast creators that includes Phil Yu, Jeff Yang, Ada Tseng and Quincy Surasmith.
- “Asian Enough” hosted by Jen Yamato and Frank Shyong of the Los Angeles Times.
- “Dealing” is a podcast about people dealing with life, the things that make us sick, and how we keep the struggle real. An open and honest discussion on health, where we share our experiences, wisdom, laughter, and inspiration to breakdown stigma, bring awareness, and let everyone know it’ll all be okay!
Episodes that talk about Asian American issues:
While theatre is our tool for activism, we deeply admire the work of poets including
And watch the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s series of 10 short readings by poets published in the Best American Poetry anthology.