Our Accountable Systems work is centered on building NHPI Autonomy through strengthening and lifting up the leadership of Pasifika women, our Pasifika Queer & Trans members, our network of Pasifika faith based communities, elevating the voices of our youth, and centering our siblings who are negatively impacted by the immigration and justice systems. We lift up community led policies designed by NHPIs who experience marginalization with the intersections of their identities.
We honor the work of our forebears who have fought at the federal level to dissagregate NHPI data, funding, and political leadership. We are committed to dismantling the aggregation of our communities within the problematic “API/AAPI” category and build up the resilience of the NHPI communities to have a sovereign political voice.
Food is at the center of our wellness and and also our unhealth. Pasifika communities have traditionally accessed their lands and oceans to provide sustenance for their families. Through environmental racism and European and Asian colonization, many in our communities are now exposed to colonized diet that is disembodied from land and from culture. Our communities in the U.S. also reside in urban and rural food desserts. Access to healthy foods is critical for Pasifika well-being. We support food sovereignty movements that elevate localized food justice solutions lead by Pasifika community.
Housing insecurity looks very different for the Pasifika community. NHPIs in the State of Washington are five times more likely to experience homelessness than their white peers according to the One Night Count in 2020. Many NHPIs facing housing insecurity often do not engage with housing service providers due to institutional paternalism and prescriptions, linguistic racism, and culturally irresponsive services that are not aligned with Pasifika cultural values. PICA-WA champions housing solutions that doesn’t break our families apart and lean on the family for the solutions that they would like to pursue.
Xenophobia goes hand in hand with white supremacy and has littered the ways that our national and local government systems continue to dehumanize the lives of those who are undocumented through policies that enforce an economic embargo in immigrant communities of color. Pacific Islanders from Independent Island Nations who have migrated to the U.S. who are undocumented face enforced poverty and a broken immigration system that locks them up in detention centers. PICA-WA supports immigration policies that create pathways to citizenship and residency and policies that offer social economic support relief for our undocumented NHPI members.
The Covid 19 crisis has highlighted the devastating fact that Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders face some of the worst health disparities compared to all other racial groups – intersections of COFA status, US National status, undocumented status, and chronic low wages in employment fields where NHPI folks work have all led to a significant part of the community lacking healthcare coverage further expounding negative consequences in health outcomes NHPIs. PICA-WA mitigates these harms by advocating for accessible and culturally responsive healthcare and healthcare coverage throughout Washington State along with co-designing health justice policies that centers the experiences of our community members.
Pasifika communities have suffered under policing policies that are birthed from anti-Indigenous and anti-Black sentiment. While we are not always the targets, our members who are killed and harassed by police experience the collateral damage and some times are the targets of harmful racist policing. We advocate for policing policies that advance anti-racism and anti-colonial frameworks. We are in alignment with restructuring our policing systems so it reflects the values of the communities they serve. We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Movement and call on the defunding of harmful policing systems and investing in public safety infrastructure that are humane and safe.
We know too well the plight of our Pasifika peoples in facing systematic state violence historically in their Oceanian homelands and in North America. We support the decriminalization of our NHPI communities and restorative justice solutions that center community leadership in co-designing rehabilitation that centers the liberation of our incarcerated Pasifika family. We center healing practices of Oceania that restores harmony in communities where those who have harmed and victims of harm are given real pathways to community healing.