I’m inspired by the resilience of low income people of color who are not only surviving capitalism but thriving despite its existence. My work at CPA reminds me of this strength daily, and my CPA home is where I grew this strength.
In 2010 I biked from Berkeley to Los Angeles to support undocumented students. I was humbled by this journey - the ride challenged me physically, mentally, and socially. As an ally, the ride reminded me of what it means to be in movement and solidarity, not just for one day but for however long it takes to get where we need to be. In between rides, some of us would discuss the challenges we see in our communities. As someone who was born of Chinese Vietnamese refugee parents, I saw how imperialism uprooted so many of our families, and how systems of oppression are designed to keep people like us from accessing our full dignity and belonging. One of the riders said something that stuck with me, “It’s bigger than you, it’s bigger than me, but together we can find a way.”
I reflect on how much I have learned about myself and our movements since then.
Today we are still fighting for safer communities, sharing stories across multiple languages to strengthen unity, and seeing climate change making our families’ futures harder to imagine.
Sometimes, I feel like I have more questions than answers, but I can think of no better place to bring these questions than to CPA. Resilience, to me, means the capacity to take risks, even in the face of the unknown, and bounce back. So, when workers ask me about whether or not they will get their hard earned wages back or whether or not we can make a difference when the cards are stacked against us this way, I tell them what my fellow rider told me, 這個問題是大過你，大過我，如果你願意試一試，我們最少可以看看我們一切能做得什麼 （this issue is bigger than you and me, but if you’re willing to try, we can find out what is possible together) [ shout out to all the Chinese educators in my life!]
Recently, two high stakes worker actions were planned on the same day (coincidence I swear!). Workers from both actions showed up to each other's' actions and shared words of encouragement to the workers right when they needed to hear it the most. Moments like this are impossible if we don’t dream big… and I can’t wait to dream even bigger!
Will you join me, by donating to CPA today, to find out what is possible together?
22.22* - can pay for a refreshments for a worker meeting where we are educating them on their rights
88.88* - a flight to bring a grassroots member to exchange power building skills with other immigrant workers in SoCal
111.11* - covers majority of the cost for childcare providers for one of Tenant Worker Center's monthly community forums
*these are rough estimates
[ First Photo: Annelisa as a movement baby holding a sign protesting for passage of the DREAM Act; Second Photo: Annelisa second in a single line formation of bikers on a road to Socal; Third Photo: Annelisa trying to take a deep breath while on a rest break].