How we can honor the legacy of this new holiday, and bend the arc toward justice.

Credit: Depositphotos

Throughout history, Juneteenth has been known by many names: Jubilee Day. Freedom Day. Liberation Day. Emancipation Day. And today, a national holiday,” said Vice President Harris, just before President Biden signed legislation that codified June 19th as a national holiday.

The response, especially from African-Americans, was mixed. For some, it stripped away the sacredness and intimacy of the day — an exclusively Black thing where communities would celebrate through parades, cookouts, prayer circles, and festivals. Others worried that this would lead to the appropriation…

The Trump playbook is alive and well, even in ultra-liberal bastions like San Francisco.

Photo Credits: Amogh Manjunath, Erin Schaff

A few years ago, a charismatic and aspiring politician made some inflammatory comments about an influential group of constituents. The comments surfaced just as this person was rising in power as a populist leader. The media had a field day, and the infamous comments became the story that everyone talked about. Lines were quickly drawn. The party establishment called for this person to step down. The community responded in kind, voicing their disapproval on the streets, in civic forums, and on social media. A few staunch…

How the violence against Asian-American elders watered the seeds of Anti-Blackness in me, and what I am doing to confront my racism.

Fear. Hatred. Apathy. Loathing. Demonization.

These are emotions that racist people systematically ascribe toward People of Color, especially Black people. Once cultivated, these feelings manifest as the racist policies and practices that cause lasting individual and collective harm. I am not proud to share that — in the past two months — these feelings, particularly toward Black men, have manifested in me.

I first noticed them in early February, when I read about the tragic death of…

“La Llorona’s Sacred Waters” mural in San Francisco by Juana Alicia, 2004. Photo: Kevin John Fong

Dear reader: A year ago, I wrote “Love in the Time of Corona,” sharing lessons I learned as a frontline worker in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. After a year of perpetual grief, how can we move forward? Through this missive, I hope to share some learnings about confronting grief in the midst of a pandemic.

Two sunny Saturdays ago, I logged onto zoom and attended a virtual memorial for my friend’s grandfather. Unfortunately, I had to leave early to attend another memorial service for a childhood friend. As I was both watching the slide show tribute to my friend and feeling…

The U.S. Capitol, with the flag at half-mast honoring Officer Brian Sicknick, 1/7/21 — photo credit: Doug Mills

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and lasting peace, among ourselves and with all nations.”

In the days after the January 6, 2021 invasion of the U.S. Capitol by domestic terrorists, politicians on both sides of the aisle alluded to…

The circle is the oldest and most common organizing formation in humanity. People across time, geography and culture have met in circles. It is the basis upon which relationships are established and nurtured, alliances are forged and decisions are made. The inherent nature of the circle implies equality. There is no hierarchy in the circle. As Liz Medicine Crow of the First Alaskans Institute says, “in our circles, there is a leader in every chair.” Circles are inherently inclusive, and can expand or contract to suit the needs of those to show up. …

Credit: Nick Sheerbart

How’s your heart, darlin?”

My friend Maggie asked me this question during a zoom call on January 4th. I told her that my heart felt drenched, as if I was caught unprepared in a rainstorm.

Then came the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th — a day that will leave a permanent stain on the story of the United States, much like September 11th, November 22nd, and December 7th. I spent the afternoon and evening scrolling through headlines and photographs, feeling the weight of more storms dampening my soul. Sleep did not come easily, so I stayed up…

Photo Credit: Raquel Natalicchio/News Source: CBS Los Angeles

Black Woman Attacked During Pro-Trump Demonstration in DTLA

What was your gut reaction to the photo and headline above? What thoughts and words went through your mind? How and where did it hit your body? If you had to describe the situation in a court of law, what would you say?

When I first saw the photo and headline, it stopped me in my tracks. I saw a large White man, holding down a small Black woman, while other White men were preparing to attack her. …

Credit: MinuteKEY/Unsplash

“What time is it on the clock of the world, and what are you doing to make a difference for good?”

Grace Lee Boggs was fond of starting her conversations with this question. In my encounters with individuals and communities, I have continued her practice of asking these salient questions. And since the start of this new year, I have received answers from a wide range of folks — from a university president, to a group of Somali refugees, to foundation executives, to law enforcement staff — and even my own friends and family.

The answers sounded something…

An analysis of how racism has been embedded in our voting polices and practices since the founding of our nation.

People are saying that the 2020 election is the most important of our lifetime, perhaps in the history of our country, and voter turnout is reflecting that sentiment. As of November 2nd — over 92 million people have cast their vote. 63% of voters under the age of 30 indicated that they will definitely vote this year (an increase from 47% in 2016). …

Kevin John Fong

A cultural translator and racial healing practitioner, Kevin works to provide clarity, alignment and integration to cultivate healthy and prosperous communities

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