The Lane East Asian Network (LEAN) was established on December 25, 2020 as a safe space for our East Asian community in Lane County and surrounding areas in Oregon to discuss cultural topics including shared experiences, history, news, events, activism, mutual aid, mental health, martial arts, food, et cetera.
LEAN is a place for East Asian folx, encompassing origins in both Southeast and Northeast Asia, to celebrate their heritages and support each other through the unique challenges they face due to the racism inflicted upon them by White supremacists and their ‘peaceful’ co-conspirators. This includes the increased vitriol and physical violence directed at them throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the lasting effects of Oregon's anti-Chinese laws and mob attacks, and the lack of historical education on Oregon's participation in sending thousands of Japanese Oregonians to concentration camps in Portland and beyond.
Contrary to popular belief in the United States, labeling the many lineages with roots in Asia as homogeneous is both inaccurate and insulting, as Asian people are not a monolith and to suggest they are is to be dismissive of all the diverse cultures, experiences, and forms of discrimination inflicted upon those who simply share a continent of origin. Many East Asian folx benefit from privileges that other people of color do not, often choosing to perpetrate racism, colorism, and elitism. They must hold themselves and their peers accountable then attempt to repair fractured interethnic relationships, while also acknowledging the blatant and internalized racism inflicted upon themselves resultant from White supremacy. All of this may be accomplished without falling into assumed subservience as portrayed by Western media and imposed immersion in White-dominated spaces— both of which are acts of violence via colonization of the mind. East Asian individuals living in Oregon must develop a safe space amongst each other in order to feel empowered in their unity, identify and combat the unique forms of racism they endure and propagate, and assert their agency.
Our values and approach to greater community involvement are anchored in social justice. Transgender people are the gender they say they are and their pronouns must be respected, same-gender love is real love, disabled people deserve accessibility, an individual's body belongs to zir and zirself* alone, imprisoning migrants in concentration camps is a crime against humanity, Black lives matter even as they are racially targeted, incarcerated, and murdered by police officers at disproportionately higher rates, colonialism fatally oppresses Indigenous and Islander communities, and SSWANA people endure individual and systemic racism that often goes unacknowledged. We show up in solidarity as active agents of change to prevail over current injustices and inspire the evolution of a more just world. Discriminatory statements made on the basis of any marginalized identity and the refusal to correct said behavior will result in banning from our community, including all LEAN events and online forums.
*‘Zir’ and ‘zirself’ are singular personal pronouns akin to ‘them’ and ‘themself’ when an individual's pronouns are not known to the speaker, and are often but not exclusively used by nonbinary transgender folx.
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For inquiries and collaboration, message us on social media or email us at OregonLEAN@gmail.com.
Please help us build our community by sharing this website with the East Asian folx you know! If you are an East Asian person living in Oregon, we would love to have you join us in our Facebook group, Lane East Asian Network (LEAN)!