Thursday, May 13, 2021

The LARP Diversity Committee is sharing recommendations for learning and reflection in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Taylor Moore of the American Planning Association (2021) writes: “The Asia-Pacific region spans nearly 50 countries and more than 100 languages, but these people share a commitment to social justice, historical and cultural preservation, and shaping future generations.

Historically, the urban planning profession has been white dominated, and certain tools and policies such as redlining, exclusionary zoning, and urban renewal programs have eroded the neighborhoods and cultures of marginalized people. In light of increased anti-Asian violence across the U.S., it's more important than ever to listen to and recognize the accomplishments of our peers and advocate for equity inside and outside the field of planning.”

The department’s Diversity Committee encourages the LARP community to dedicate this month to learning and action about the history and contributions of Asian Americans. The following are some recommendations for learning and reflection from members of the LARP Diversity Committee.

From Elizabeth Brabec

The blog article “Cherry Blossoms, Insects, and Inspections” from the Library of Congress’ Law Library.
In 1912, over 3,000 cherry blossom trees were gifted to the U.S. by Japan after the first shipment of 2,000 trees in 1910 was destroyed upon finding harmful pests. In addition to serving as an important symbol of friendship, these trees led to important legislation on foreign imports and pest management. 

(Photo credit: Dan Chudnov, 2011. https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2011/03/cherry-blossoms-at-the-library-of-congress/)

From Darrell Ramsey-Musolf 

The 15 Minute documentary “Standing Above the Clouds” follows Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists as they stand to protect their sacred mountain Mauna Kea from the building of the world’s largest telescope. 

From Alicia Coleman

Resources to #StopAsianHate:

Also, a recent APA article highlights the lives and contributions of 12 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, credited with nurturing our cities and advancing the field of planning.

Lastly, the National Parks Service issued a summary of significant historic properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. These places are considered important for “highlighting important aspects of the Asian and Pacific experience in America.”