Dear Performing Arts Workshop community, 

Our hearts are heavy with grief and rage as we mourn the deaths of eight people, including six Asian women, who were recently murdered in Atlanta. We honor the lives of:

Delaina Ashley Yaun

Paul Andre Michels

Xiaojie Tan

Daoyou Feng

Soon Chung Park

Hyun Jung Grant

Suncha Kim, & 

Yong Ae Yue 

We send our most sincere condolences to their families and communities, and we encourage everyone reading this to respond to families’ direct requests for support.


This isn’t just happening elsewhere — it’s happening here in SF and the Bay Area with terrifying frequency. This month, Ngoc Pham, Xiao Zhen Xie, and Danny Yu Chang were all seriously injured in daytime attacks in San Francisco. In January, Vicha Ratanapakdee was assaulted and killed while walking outside his home. In February, a 91-year-old man was seriously assaulted in Oakland’s Chinatown. All of these attacks have deeply affected our Asian students, families, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and community here in the Bay Area. Racism and xenophobia have been alive and present in the SF Bay Area for generations, and are just now gaining more recognition as they become increasingly violent. 


We acknowledge that the devastating violence of last week, this past year, and this past century have been the direct result of white supremacy, xenophobia, and this country’s long, uninterrupted history of imperialism and racism against Asian people here and abroad. This violence is the direct result of racialized misogyny through the hyper sexualization, fetishization, and objectification of Asian women stemming as far back as the 1875 Page Act which halted the immigration of Chinese women on the premise that they were “immoral.” In addition to the violence in Atlanta, we also acknowledge that historically the majority of Asian people targeted by this violence are women, elders, sex workers, immigrants, and low wage workers. 


Performing Arts Workshop is now a part of San Francisco’s District 11, a community composed of an Asian American majority as per the last census. It is our responsibility as an organization to meet the needs of our neighbors not just with youth arts programming, but also with organizational-wide solidarity, an unwavering commitment to anti-racism, advocacy, and action. As we consider actions to take, we know that increased policing is not the answer. We call on you—especially white folks—to join us now in supporting our Asian communities. Below is a list of actions to take and places to support as well as the Workshop’s commitments to action.


As an organization, we are still in the process of putting our Pro-Black Accountability Plan (our action plan to fulfill our commitments in defense of Black Lives) into action. Consistent with the Combahee River Collective’s assertion that “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression,” many, if not all, of the Pro-Black actions we plan to take will also serve the Asian community and all people oppressed by white supremacy. For example, we are proposing new policies to offer paid time for staff directly affected by racist violence and we’re currently in conversation about how to move material resources, like space and earned income, to BIPOC-led organizations. The following actions are rooted in proposals for the Pro-Black accountability plan: 


Workshop Actions


  • Hold training with teaching artists and staff to review Performing Arts Workshop’s Anti-Racist COVID-19 Framework to make sure everyone is equipped and actively working to dismantle racist narratives around the disease in our classrooms 
  • Hold space for teaching artists and staff to reflect, process, and plan action in relation to their individual positionalities 


  • Advocate for training and education on the “model minority myth,” and how to fight back against society’s impulse to pit groups against each other, to instead build multi-racial communities of solidarity and action
  • Create and codify Workshop policy to offer paid time off for directly impacted staff to process 


  • Make resources available for Workshop staff, board, and teaching artists to attend Bystander Intervention Training in order to stop racism and harassment in the moment 

Actions to Take


In community, 

Anti-Racism Committee on behalf of Performing Arts Workshop