Say NO to the New Youth Jail #People’sMoratorium

If you have not already heard, the city of Seattle plans to construct a New Youth Jail. Here is why you should OPPOSE construction and the steps you can take:

Background

    • Original plan: $200-210 million will be allocated to funding a new juvenile detention center in Seattle.
    • 55% of voters approved it in 2012, as it was described as a “Children and Family Justice Center,” which is misleading and prompted voters to cast an approving ballot.
    • Current estimates show that funding the jail will actually cost $225-230+ million, which is significantly more than what was approved.

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One Fair Wage Campaign

I attended the ACLU membership conference this past weekend, which featured an incredible set of speakers, including Kerry Washington, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Patrisse Cullors! Be prepared for an influx of posts regarding the conference 🙂

What I especially loved about this conference is that the speakers gave concrete steps to take in order to support a larger movement (i.e. feminism, dismantling mass incarceration, etc).
The most memorable for me would be the One Fair Wage Campaign!

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ACLU Essay

Hi friends!

Today I received some exciting news: I won the ACLU Washington State youth essay contest, so I’ll be going to the ACLU Membership Conference in Washington DC in June. Some people have been wondering if I could share the essay, so here it is!

The prompt was: What do you think is the most important civil liberties or civil rights issue your generation faces? Why? How will you work toward a solution?

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Broken on the Inside

Warnings: Mentions of mental illness and suicide.

“I was broken from the inside. The depression slowly chipped me away, finally devouring me. I could not beat the negativity. I detested myself. Even though I tried so hard demanding my memories that kept getting cut off to ‘wake up,’ all I got in return was silence. I‘d rather stop if I cannot breathe.”
– Kim Jonghyun

Kim Jonghyun (April 8, 1990 – December 18, 2017) was the lead vocal of KPOP group SHINee, as well as a distinguished composer/song-writer. He was a supporter of mental health awareness and the LGBT community.

Note: The statistics mentioned above are specific to the United States only. However, this post strives to apply to a world-wide audience.

If facts like these are new to you, then you are stuck in a bubble of oblivion that you need to pop right now (however, I do not blame you; I blame the institutions you engage in). But there is one thing in common that should apply for all: suicide statistics are alarmingly high, yet when asked about suicide, we either  (1) do not know anyone personally that has committed suicide (2) feel as though we do not have responsibility/power to prevent suicide.

But look around you. Hidden behind the façade of smiles, of forced bliss, carrying out the same routine over and over, is the deep-rooted loneliness, balancing on the thin edge of life–one side is suffering, the other death, but oblivious to which is which. People (and surprisingly youth) are so good at hiding their pain. And sometimes the happiest people are suffering the most: “I wanted someone to notice [my suffering], but no one knew. Of course, they wouldn’t. They never met me before” (Jonghyun).

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Raising A Voice

An incident happened a few weeks ago regarding members of my community that left me outraged and shocked, questioning how truly “progressive” the 21st century is.
I’ll first give a background on this so-called community: ~85-90% Asian, upper-middle class, and academically high-achieving. It’s inevitable to form an image in your mind when you encounter these labels, and perhaps that’s the best way to understand the group I’m referencing. According to pure statistics and socio-economic status, we’re a pretty homogeneous cohort, and not many know what it’s like outside the bubble of this community.

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