Shows: April 29, 2019

Photo for 'The Education of Eddy Zheng, Inside Out (Pt. 1)'
Richard A Chance (Guardian)

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The Education of Eddy Zheng, Inside Out
Our first podcast-only episode: a conversation with racial justice activist and community educator Eddy Zheng.

The Education of Eddy Zheng, Inside Out (Pt. 1)

Eddy Zheng, a community educator in some of America’s hardest-to-reach communities, got his own education in unlikely places. At age 12, he emigrated to Oakland, California, from China with his family, and was quickly plunged into poverty, cultural alienation and social dislocation. At 16, he was convicted as an adult for armed robbery and kidnapping, and faced a life sentence. During the two decades he ultimately spent in California’s San Quentin prison, Zheng developed a political consciousness forged through radical thinkers and writers of color – from historical pioneers such as Frederick Douglass to his mentor, Japanese American revolutionary Yuri Kochiyama. It was a grassroots education that, in his words, “saved my life”.

As a grassroots activist and youth organizer, Zheng is focused on the impacts of criminalization and immigration enforcement on Asian and Pacific Islander communities. He works across racial and ethnic lines to bring Asian diaspora and immigrant experience into a dialogue on mass incarceration that is often devoid of such voices. He also advocates for solidarity between Asian Americans and African Americans, maintaining that a unified resistance is critical in the struggle against structural racism and pointing to the role played by the prison system and police brutality in aggravating tensions between minority groups. It is crucial, he says, for API communities to reach out to black communities to ask: “How can we be a better ally to you, so we can create more solidarity when we come together to fight for criminal justice and comprehensive immigration reform?”

Read more at The Guardian

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The Education of Eddy Zheng, Inside Out (Pt. 2)

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