Pasifika Uprising

Pasifika Uprising

Pasifika Uprising is a Pacific Islander-managed and serving non-profit media organization. We are LGBQT+ women-led collective, grounded in our Indigenous values and communities. We have lived on our lands and in diaspora and speak to our shared Pasifika and global experiences. We are scholars, writers, cultural practitioners, and media producers,

Pasifika Uprising

Pasifika Uprising is a Pacific Islander-managed and serving non-profit media organization. We are LGBQT+ women-led collective, grounded in our Indigenous values and communities. We have lived on our lands and in diaspora and speak to our shared Pasifika and global experiences. We are scholars, writers, cultural practitioners, and media producers, with extensive professional experience in culture and language revitalization and advocacy. Our work builds on the previous initiatives on community-led movements against colonization, militarization, nuclear testing, and discrimination/hate, e.g., #BeingMicronesian. The hashtag covered the anti-Micronesian hate in Hawaiʻi, which caught international attention and coverage. As a result, the Hawaiʻi Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights published a report on the status of Micronesians in Hawaiʻi. It also became an awareness and solidarity-building movement among AAPIs in the Pacific Islands and the continental U.S. In the last six months, Pasifika Uprising worked on covering how Pacific Islanders are leading the work in social and climate justice.

About the Organization:

Pasifika Uprising is a Pacific Islander-managed and serving non-profit media organization. We are LGBQT+ women-led collective, grounded in our Indigenous values and communities. We have lived on our lands and in diaspora and speak to our shared Pasifika and global experiences. We are scholars, writers, cultural practitioners, and media producers, with extensive professional experience in culture and language revitalization and advocacy. Our work builds on the previous initiatives on community-led movements against colonization, militarization, nuclear testing, and discrimination/hate, e.g., #BeingMicronesian. The hashtag covered the anti-Micronesian hate in Hawaiʻi, which caught international attention and coverage. As a result, the Hawaiʻi Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights published a report on the status of Micronesians in Hawaiʻi. It also became an awareness and solidarity-building movement among AAPIs in the Pacific Islands and the continental U.S. In the last six months, Pasifika Uprising worked on covering how Pacific Islanders are leading the work in social and climate justice.

organizational budget

$0 - $50,000

existence for

0-5 Years

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Colorado

organizational budget

$0 - $50,000

existence for

0-5 Years

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Colorado

The Issue:

If we look at the media, we see either overweight or oversexualized Pasifika men and women. Often, they are happy-go-lucky servants, laborers, and always a comedic sidekick. Our Indigenous histories, cultures, and languages are not taught in schools. Access to our own stories, music, and source information is severely limited. Our leaders and heroes are not spoken of. Yet, plastic grass skirts and plastic leis are present at summer parties, college celebrations, and Halloween festivities. We are seen as exotica or decor. The root cause of such toxic stereotypes is our erasure and invisibility as complex and contemporary Pasifika peoples. The false colonial narrative fills the void left by our erasure. Perceptions, messages, myths, and stereotypes shape the mainstream narrative; it normalizes how people think and act toward Pasifika peoples. It creates apathy and, in turn, reinforces stereotypes – poor, refugees, comedic sidekicks, oversexualized maidens. Moreover, when we speak about our lived experiences, our credibility and existence are undermined by the racist imagery and stories of Pasifika peoples. As a result, we are not treated as leaders and experts on our own lives, histories, cultures, and current issues we face. Our invisibility further fuels biases, stereotypes, and toxic narratives of us. It gives a convenient excuse to ignore our poverty, health issues, environmental destruction and contamination of our islands, and a reason to escalate militarization, gentrification, and tourism as if Indigenous Pasifika peoples no longer exist. It creates a highly dehumanizing binary: outsiders/saviors receive funding and support to save us from ourselves, and/or we are completely ignored politically, socially, and economically. Our erasure is a form of racism, and it further perpetuates dehumanization, inequality, and injustices for our communities across Oceania and in the diaspora. Thus, colonization of our spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical spaces continues.

The Solution:

Our solution is narrative change, the approach that shifts the mainstream stories people consume, internalize, and act on. Narrative change builds power and social capital. Based on the latest research on narrative change and data on Pasifika demographics, Pasifika Uprising is currently focusing on reaching out to its audience through social media. We plan to scale our work through a repository of imagery, historical documents, recorded accounts, short films, and documentaries. Our methods to disrupting invisibility and systematic erasure: Deconstruct the colonial narrative and provide more comprehensive and accessible language, rooted in our traditional values, cultures, history, and equity; Provide resources on Pasifika history, culture, languages, and notable figures; Amplify contemporary, accurate, and authentic Pasifika voices and stories of their lives and work; and Collaborate and stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples across the globe. Our main audience is the Pasifika peoples. We purposefully include those forced to live in the diaspora for many socio-economic and environmental reasons. They, especially Pasifika youth in diaspora, experience higher barriers and less access to their land, communities, languages, cultural practices, and reliable sources of information. Pasifika Uprising also includes the broader global audience of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, as we work on educating and advocating around common issues. It allows us to build connections, support, and solidarity. Our writers and speakers are non-journalists, who share their lived experiences and how they advocate for their communities. We practice citizen journalism for two reasons. First, Pasifika people, particularly youth, are often discouraged from public speaking and advocacy. And second - we want to break the notion that exciting news/life is happening some other place, but not in our own lives. That is why Pasifika Uprising provides the space for everyone to raise their voices about critical matters. By amplifying regular people, Pasifika Uprising presents unfolding stories and lives of contemporary Pasifika peoples. It disrupts our invisibility. It also allows us to educate non-Pasifika people about our dreams, hopes, concerns, and issues.

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