May Amplify: RAISINS (Radical Asians) supporting Cafe Maddy Cab

May Amplify: RAISINS (Radical Asians) supporting Cafe Maddy Cab

In 1992, May was designated as Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, chosen because it commemorated the first Japanese person in the U.S. to officially immigrate on May 7th, 1843 and recognized the Chinese immigrants who worked on the Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed on May 10th 1869. This month, in celebration of the AAPI community (one often discussed as a cohesive group which is in fact comprised of many rich individual cultures and identities), and in recognition of the alarming rise in violence against this community, SheFly has chosen to amplify a student organization spearheaded by one of our teammates.

While SheFly was proudly founded in a dorm room at Middlebury College in Vermont, where many of our current teammates matriculated, we recognize that Middlebury is a predominantly-white institution that has historically excluded many identity groups. The college has a long way to go in providing authentic support and resources to minority groups on campus. Often it falls to student organizations to advocate for themselves and develop more supportive communities within the larger institution. This month, we’re thrilled to support RAISINS (Radical Asians), a collective of student activists making change on campus and beyond. 

What is RAISINS?

RAISINS is a collective of Asian & Asian American student activists at Middlebury College, dedicated to supporting their community & advancing justice through educating and organizing, confronting ideological and material manifestations of oppression and fostering solidarity in the Asian/Asian American student body.  

Raisins Documentary Project

RAISINS has spent the past semester working on a short film highlighting discussions about being Asian in Middlebury. The documentary, called Finding Home at Middlebury, includes conversations about laying down roots and revisiting past experiences with four Middlebury educators: Yumma Siddiqui,an English and American Literature professor, Viola Huang, a Black Studies and German professor, Saifa Hussain, the chaplain at Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, and Megan Brakeley, the food and garden educator. The piece delves into topics such as comparing different cultural traditions while being proud to be Asian and finding comfort in food and community. Finding Home at Middlebury was screened this past week on campus and can also be viewed here. The documentary is also intended to raise funds and awareness for Cafe Maddy Cab, a crowdfunded organization that provides essential taxi rides for vulnerable Asian populations in NYC. Started by Maddy Park in 2021 in response to the rise of Asian hate crimes in NYC, Cafe Maddy Cab is on a mission to help the AAPI community feel safe in their essential travels.

Actionable Amplifying:

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