2022 Education and Policy Advocacy - Yoshino Reflections

I have to admit — when I’m deep in my day to day tasks, working, doing chores, going grocery shopping, keeping in touch with family and friends, Tsuru work becomes a little bit of an afterthought. Sometimes the only thing reminding me is the rectangle on my Google Calendar “Tsuru for Solidarity Education/Advocacy Committee Meeting.”

 

When I look back, however, I realize Tsuru and this committee has become an integral part of my life this past year. I look forward to the check-in questions we have every meeting (e.g. What did everyone have for dinner? Or what is everyone looking forward to for the fall? What is your favorite cooking hack?) Despite never meeting any of my committee teammates in person, it feels comforting to see them on the little Zoom squares every other week after work.

 

Ever since high school, I have felt the overwhelming pressure to overachieve things on my own. Maybe it’s the belief rooted in our society that values individualism over anything. But being in this space has been a refreshing reminder that this work never happens alone. 

Whether it be the Organizing 101 event held by Sun Young Strait at API PA, the book discussion over Kazu Haga’s Healing Resistance, or Dr. Maha Hilal’s presentation on Innocent Until Proven Muslim, I have always been amazed at the work we do together. I truly cannot do this alone. I’m so grateful for this space and the people I get to work with.

 

As a small committee, we also took a small break to recharge from planning a couple of consecutive events. It opened my eyes to recognize that our work isn’t something with a clear set goal that you have to achieve in a certain amount of weeks or months.

It was a good reminder for us to know that this work is something we are in for the long haul and that it’s okay to take breaks. Our work is something that has and will continue for generations.

 

I feel a lot of hope for this coming year — Detention 101 trainings, MOC visits, a joint event with Okaeri — there are exciting things planned ahead for us, as we learn together and our knowledge grows.

 

Lastly, here is a little “2022 Education Committee Wrapped” to put some of what we have done into perspective!

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