For far too long, Asian Americans have suffered in silence and been forced to swallow our pain because our survival depended on how "well-behaved" we were. But the tide has turned, and we have found our voices. We are speaking up, and collectively we are saying NO MORE.
This past year we've watched in anguish as hundreds of our elders and women have been beaten, punched, kicked, spat on, and killed because they all have one thing in common . . .
But what they're NOT and what WE ARE NOT is a virus, nor are we responsible for COVID. We're Americans, and we belong here.
This is our home too.
If you are reading this, you are an ally, and I greatly appreciate your support and solidarity.
"No More" tells the history of the collective Asian-American experience throughout the past 200 years in regards to our various struggles with racism, othering, and the model minority myth. My accompanying music video below includes powerful historical imagery as well as a "montage of solidarity” amongst today's Asian-American community and our allies. I wrote this song as a way to help me process through my own anger, sadness, and frustrations about racism and anti-Asian hate. Despite the fact that I am a Vietnamese-American who was born and raised in the DC area, I have still had to endure countless microaggressions and blatant racism over the years, which I unfortunately chose to suffer with silently. But the horrific Atlanta shootings were a tipping point that forced me to acknowledge my pain, and I felt compelled to lend my words and my voice to our movement to #StopAsianHate. And while my lyrics will mean different things to different people, I have no doubt that my song will evoke many strong emotions that I hope will serve to empower ALL of us to stand TOGETHER against hate.
To provide additional support to my community, below are links to my favorite Asian-American non-profit organizations that are doing a lot of good and important work to bring about social change. For my part, I am committed to donating half of all net proceeds from the Charity Collection of my merchandise sales as well as half of my music royalties from digital streams and downloads of my song "No More."
Once again, thank you for your support. There's still so much work left to do to eradicate hate, and I appreciate your being a part of this important journey.
Hugs & Solidarity,
A coalition of community-based organizations that advocates for the rights and
needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Community.
Working every day to protect our democracy through advocacy and litigation, and to equip
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to take action across the country.
A national organization founded to protect and promote the civil rights of all Asian Americans.
A non-profit organization that aims to normalize and de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community, and aspires to make mental health sources easily available worldwide.
A charity organization based in NYC that is working to fight food insecurity and isolation experienced by Asian American seniors, providing hot meals and produce packages weekly to those in need.
Julia Kestner is an illustrator, hand letterer, and mental health advocate with a passion for creating art with purpose. She believes that art has the power to heal, educate, and spread hope. And through her art she strives to help others realize they are not alone.
For more information about Julia and to purchase her artwork, including a print of this commissioned piece for KHA, click below to support her page.