As an Asian American child, I never spoke of myself as someone important, a voice to be heard, or an identity to be seen and valued. I never spoke an affirmation about my identity. In fact, I never knew what an affirmation was until I started teaching affirmations to my students.
When I started hearing from fellow educators and families about anti-Asian hate that our children nationwide are facing, all I could think about was what I could say to Asian American youth. What can I do to help empower our Asian American kids, and frankly, all fellow Asian Americans? What would I want my younger self to be able to say?
Here are my (starting) affirmations that I share for my Asian American youth and the entire Asian American community:
I am a voice that matters.
We have voices to share stories, sing and dance, and express ourselves. We are too often told not to and instead, lumped together as a broad category of people who are forced into the model minority myth. We want to and can be seen and heard by our realities. Our voices matter.
I am worthy of safety, respect, and love.
We need safety through the actions of others and allies speaking against anti-Asian hate and violence. We deserve to be respected. We are worthy of love every day, all year long. We are worthy of safety, respect, and love.
I am part of the Asian American community.
We are a community filled with diverse people. We are not all the same, and yet we are all part of one community. We ALL belong. We are part of our Asian American community.
I am my own Asian American identity.
We have our own individual experiences that define us uniquely from each other. We dispel monoliths and labels that only generalize who we are. We decide who we are. We are our own Asian American identities.
I am Asian American.
As a child, I never said to myself that I was Asian American. Now, there is a power in my voice every time I say that I am – as if I am speaking a truth that has too long been disregarded, unheard, or not valued. I am Asian American. We are Asian American.
Asian Americans, I empower you to speak these affirmations out loud, write them daily as you may need, and revisit them as we continue to face any hate. It is my hope that what I shared can provide solace, support, and joy – or truly, whatever it is that you may need.
If you are not Asian American and you want to #STANDFORASIANS, I encourage you to share these affirmations with the Asian Americans in your life and speak out when you see or hear something, donate regularly to organizations who are helping Asian American communities, use your platforms to speak about solidarity with the Asian American community, sign all the petitions you see supporting us and what we need, and do all that you can to truly advocate for us. Educators of Asian American youth, I urge you check in with your students, and to share these affirmations with your kids. We need you.
And yes, that is me feeling truly so joyful and excited because I got a sticker (displayed on my sweater) of the first Asian American person I ever saw on television – the Yellow Power Ranger. It was the first time I saw myself.
3 thoughts on “Asian American Affirmations”
OMG Alice!!!! Thank you SO MUCH for this affirmation. What a perfect timing it was and I am so grateful. Exactly.??? I have recently had to leave my DEI at work due to so many Asian American women being overlooked, dismissed, looked down on, ignored, and minimized. Thank you again for your affirmation!!! Xoxo Momoko
Momoko Tanno (she/her/hers) firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much to Alice for sharing/posting and to Momoko for sharing the link. Out staff just recorded these affirmations to share with our students this week to show them that we stand in solidarity with them. And they are healing to read ourselves. Thank you for giving us words when it is hard to find them. Thank you for bringing us positivity when the world wants to bring us down.
Alice, thank you so much for sharing these affirmations. We are all unique and beautiful in our own way. My childhood was not easy at all. It wasn’t until I was 21 or 22 that I changed my mindset and stopped taking things personally.