Archive for January, 2012

2011 Year-End Update!

Posted: January 9, 2012 in News

Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC) 2011 Year-End Update!

2011 has been a busy, productive, and exciting year for APSC. Thank you for all of our members, supporters, and friends for helping us make some important strides this past year!

We were blessed to welcome home Viet Mike Ngo after serving over 20 years behind bars. APSC was originally formed in order to support Mike Ngo, Eddy Zheng, and Rico Riemedio, who were sent to solitary confinement for advocating for Ethnic Studies at the San Quentin college program. Ten years after they were all sent to the hole, we are very fortunate to have all three of these brothers with us in the community today. Big salute to Mike, Eddy, and Rico for overcoming so many challenges and giving back to the community after their release from prison. APSC has also been very fortunate to work with Harrison Seuga, who came home from San Quentin in 2009.

At San Quentin, APSC has continued to work with a group of amazing men to develop the first ever curriculum focused on the cultural needs of incarcerated Asian and Pacific Islander men. The pilot program will also provide opportunities for cross-cultural exchanges across racial lines. Eddy, Kasi, and Ben are now “brown card” holders through the TRUST program, which provides us with more access at San Quentin. We look to hold the first classes in Spring 2012. Thanks to the ReDistribution Fund, APSC received a small grant that will help support this innovative program. APSC also participated in the 8th annual health fair at San Quentin in August, with several Doctors from Asian Health Services providing health education.

APSC was able to participate in the 2nd annual Solano health fair this December, where our dear friend and ally, Dr. Sue Chan, provided health education on hepatitis to hundreds of prisoners. We look forward to participating in more health programs at Solano prison as well as support the work of the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander cultural group.

The amazing Terry Park represented APSC in the Mr. Hyphen contest to bring home a $1,000 prize towards APSC projects! His Tiger Mom air guitar performance stole the show to win the Asian American male handsomeness/talent contest. Thank you Terry!

We have continued to provide presentations about the impact of the prison industrial complex on the Asian American community at colleges, including a great partnership with Roger Chung and his classes at Laney College, and Harvey Dong and Siri Brown of UC Berkeley. APSC attended the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted Peoples Movement Conference in Los Angeles, where Eddy Zheng and Alex Sanchez spoke about the impact of the prison industrial complex and deportation on immigrant communities.

APSC continues to sell and distribute the “Other: An Asian and Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology” and “Letters from the Pen” ‘zines to the public and educational institutions to raise awareness and generate funds. The anthology is available at Eastwind Books of Berkeley and online here: http://www.asiabookcenter.com/book/9780981692609

APSC is also home to a new documentary film project by Ben Wang called BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY. By highlighting Eddy’s struggle for redemption after two decades in prison, the film will raise awareness about the growing issues of incarceration and deportation for many Asian communities. We have filmed over 50 hours of footage! For more info, go to www.eddyzhengstory.com

APSC is part of an exciting new initiative of Chinese for Affirmative Action called Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE), along with the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA), API Equality, Hyphen Magazine, and the Network on Religion and Justice. This alliance will enable APSC to expand our efforts to raise awareness about the prison industrial complex and raise funds through CAA’s fiscal sponsorship. If you are able, please consider making a tax deductible donation to APSC in order to help us achieve our goals for 2012! You can make an online donation here: https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?Action=GC&CID=987

On behalf of APSC, we wish all of you a happy holiday season and best wishes in the new year. Please free to contact us at our PO Box. We look forward to working with you more in the new year! Some of our goals for 2012:
– Pilot the first ever curriculum at San Quentin focused on the needs of Asian and Pacific Islander prisoners, focusing on culture/history, health issues, and reentry/immigration needs.
– Raise awareness about the impact of the prison industrial complex through speaking presentations and sharing prisoners’ writings and artwork.
– Build alliances with women API prisoners at Valley State Prison and Chowchilla!

Sincerely,
Asian Prisoner Support Committee
PO Box 1031, Oakland, CA 94604 / apscinfo@gmail.com