By Jun Nucum
CITY OF STA. CLARA – A catchy all inclusive unifying song was launched during a a civic leadership forum on anti-hate recently held at City of Santa Clara and sponsored jointly by Ding Ding TV and Silicon Valley Community Media, a proud partner for 2022 National Civic Leadership Forum that was held from September 11 to 13 in Las Vegas.
The music video, “All of Us Belong Right Here,” was launched at the forum that dwelt on the topic “AAPI: The Great Awakening” and its goal was to create a community platform for all AAPI organizations and leaders to interact, to work together, to learn from each other and to build trust so that our community will be strong via UNITY.
The video itself was a result of a collective community effort to share the message “All of Us Belong Right Here.” And over 60 people participated in the making of the video, with 20 elected officials making an appearance.
The message that “All of Us Belong Right Here” wants to convey is that each wave of immigrants into the country, whether voluntary or otherwise, brought something unique and contributed to the greatness of U.S. as a country.
The launch included a panel discussion participated in by Mayor of Santa Clara Lisa Gillmor, Mayor of Fremont Lily Mei, Founder and Chairman of Kenson Ventures Ken Fong, President of the Board of Trustees for Mt. San Antonio Community College Lieutenant Commander US Navy Jay Chen and moderated by Joel Wong (the President of National Asia American Political Action Committee.
Early on, Wong shared that the idea for the song started in April when he created a blog about Asian American in the U.S. because of the pandemic.
“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian sentiments was unearthed and crimes against Asian Americans have increased. Then I started to write a poem stating, among others, that all of us belong. I got encouraged by Ken (Fong) to put some music behind the poem. So I did it. I realized people like it then I decided to put a fancy melody behind it. That was how it all started this song,” Wong related.
With Wong, founder of Ding Ding TV and Silicon Valley Community Media Diana WeiPing Ding shared the message of “All of Us Belong Right Here” with the participants of 2022 National Civic Leadership Forum: “AAPI – The Great Awakening” held in Las Vegas.
When Wong asked each of the participants what they thought about the spike in the Anti-Asian hate crimes and what they plan to do about it, re-electionist candidate Mayor Gillmor spoke about hateful rhetoric that started at the beginning of the pandemic and the rising number of Anti-Asian hate crimes targeting both individuals and businesses.
“It is a health crisis and a human rights crisis. The city immediately passed a resolution to affirm the city’s commitment to stand against and condemn violence against Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Santa Clara also worked with community members to create a task force on diversity, equity, and inclusion to engage the local community and open a dialogue,” Gillmor stated: “By working together in our city and standing in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters, we can work to create a more just and compassionate society. This music video is the perfect bridge to connect all of us and remind us that we all belong here.”
For her part, Fremont Mayor Mei stressed that it is important that “we have the positivity that the song represents in terms of outreach and camaraderie between our communities in recognizing that we all belong right here.”
“But this is something also about racism that sadly has occurred for many years. And sill to this time occurs. When the pandemic hit, our city put out fact sheets and immeidatel I have received death threats alleging that I must be a communist, a spy destabilizing the U.S. economy among others. People still don’t realize that unfortunately ignorance is prevalent in some parts of the community,” the mayor added.
Mei added that when the topic on racism is talked is about “we have to talk looking at us as a collective not just as selective.
“Everyone should feel that they’re safe. When it comes to justice, it cannot be just us as partisan. It has to be something united. I don’t think it is ok to terrorize, intimidate, threaten or bully anyone regardless of their political party, faith, gender, ethnic or sexual orientation. We have to stand united,” Mei said.
Community partners for the event also included National Asian Americans United, California State Library, Ethnic Media Services, CLUSA, Studio One, OneVetOneVote, Music Land School of Music, Jane Huang Dance Academy, American Chinese Youth Performing Art Foundation, American Teochow Foundation and Cupertino Rotary Club.