These documentation efforts are premised on the critical idea that memory and meaning are built collaboratively through dialogue, and that all of us—interviewers, organizers, and narrators alike—are part of a shared community that is experiencing unprecedented trauma to a lesser or greater degree.
We want to acknowledge difference and honor it. Our project is a gesture to the usefulness of the A/PA identity frame for many of us, while recognizing that it does not fully represent all of our narrators or participants in all their fullness. We acknowledge and want to think of expansive ways of incorporating different voices, languages, and identities.
We believe that Asian/Pacific Americans’ experiences of COVID-19 are important to document, but are not detached from the experiences of other communities to which we belong, create, and seek solidarity with.
We seek to build an ethics of care, consideration, and community—from the project design and facilitation of interviews to the collection and custody of these stories.
Finally, we believe that stories both comprise our own experiences and form a collective public memory. How we process and grieve, construct memory and make meaning, and how we take stock now and in the future is at the core of our efforts.