2014 was not a landmark year in America’s long history of human rights violations, but it was significant in the refusal of bodies to stand back in the face of injustice. “BLACK LIVES MATTER!” was yelled into the night air, as the list of murdered names grew every day, connected by their perceived social identities--of race, gender, sex, and sexuality, etc-- ultimately, in difference: a difference marked onto the body and fraught with meaning.
For this reason, this year’s conference is themed, “Critical Mass: Collective Bodies for Action.” In protest, a mass of bodies becomes a powerful organism, one that breathes, marches, and moves in time together. The goal of this year’s conference is for the Asian/Pacific/American community to reach that critical mass: a point of large scale rupture, but also of creation. A/P/A communities must break away from the position of silence or affirmation they have been confined to and respond to these calls for action.
This year’s conference will push attendees to examine how difference is constructed and imposed onto our bodies. It will look at how bodies are policed in certain contexts--from racialized stereotypes, beauty standards, but even more importantly, it will expand the limits of what a body can do. How will our marked bodies become actors of change and builders of a more just society? Like our activist predecessors, we want to inspire our attendees to create positive change and to add their necessary voices to the singular rallying cry.