Non-Profit Programs of the Santa Barbara County Education Office
The Children’s Creative Project (CCP) supports arts education in Santa Barbara County’s schools. In 2019-2020, this included 400 performances for 50,000 children at 90 school sites along with performing arts workshops at school sites, and large events with touring national and international artists. CCP also hosts the annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival which was held online in 2020.
From the Desk of Susan Salcido
Stop Asian hate: A call to action and why I’m speaking up today
Born and raised in the United States, I have never pledged allegiance to any other flag but ours. This country is my home. I am that person who sings patriotic songs on road trips, and if we’re driving together, there is a high likelihood that, at some point, our windows will be down, and we’ll be singing, “This land is your land, this land is my land.”
Being American is part of my identity, but there have been instances where I have been confronted, challenged, and hurt. From the time I was a young girl, I have witnessed people shouting at my parents, degrading them for speaking English with thick, Korean accents. At different periods in my life, people have extended the corners of their eyes with their fingers, mocking my Asian eyes, telling me to “go back to China.” I have been asked if I see things through a panoramic view because of the ways my eyes are shaped. Words and actions directed at my family and me have ranged from quiet and subtle to chaotic and violent, and for most of my life, I’ve kept silent. That ends today.
Here we are in 2021, addressing Anti-Asian hate and violence, and most of us are devastated and saddened that we have to confront it. We view videos that show violence against elderly Asian people. We read about the murders in Atlanta and feel sadness, sorrow, and question how this can be real. We retweet hashtags, like #StopAsianHate, as a call to action. What does “stopping” Asian hate look like? What steps can we take?
For some of us, stopping means that we allow ourselves time to pause and reflect on how we are doing and feeling. In the past few days, I took time to think and reflect on my own and then talked with my children. When I asked them their opinions about what causes racism, the dialogue was good. But when we kept going, taking the initial questions to new levels, asking what contributes to the absence of racism, I was impressed with how readily they could express their perspectives. Their experiences are theirs and not a repeat of mine; their childhood has provided them with venues to express their voices, books with characters with experiences and backgrounds that mirror their lives, and classroom environments that discuss race, equity, and inclusivity. Our dialogue helped reenergize my optimism and hope that our children - not mine alone, but ours together- have the language and tools to help create the future we seek.