To Our Beloved Community

The past few weeks have been overwhelming, especially for our neighbors in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. First and foremost, we want to express our deep sympathy to the family and friends of George Floyd. Floyd’s death has brought up an array of emotions and raised important questions about how to build communities where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and safe. We commit to working with others in our community and within our organization to bring transformative change.

 (Photo caption: KOM staff and friends volunteering in Saint Paul on June 5.)

As we know, neighborhoods have already been facing challenges around access to food and other necessities in the current pandemic. However, we are heartened by the outpouring of generosity we have seen in these past few weeks. In light of this, our staff have gathered some resources below, and we hope you find them useful.

If you need help with anything, our staff continue to take calls through our on-call schedule, so please reach out to us. We are here to support you.

Sending peace and love to you all,

Eh Tah Khu and Alexis Walstad, Co-Executive Directors

Food and Aid Distribution Sites

Many food and aid distribution locations have popped up across the Twin Cities!

We are highlighting 5 locations below that are distributing supplies and are nearest to our community members in Ramsey County:

  1. Greater East Side Community Council  
    • 1380 Rose Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106
    • Distributing food Sundays from 12:30 – 3 p.m.
  2. Keystone Community Services
    • Midway Food Shelf – 1916 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
    • Hours: Mon – Fri, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
    • Rice Street Food Shelf – 1459 Rice Street, Suite 3, Saint Paul, MN 55117
    • Hours: Mon – Fri, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
  3. St. Paul Eastside YMCA
    • 875 Arcade Street, Saint Paul, MN 55106
    • Hours: Drop off 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Distribution 12 – 2 p.m.
  4. The Sanneh Foundation – Conway Community Rec Center
    • 2090 Conway St. Saint Paul, MN 55119, 651-690-4855
    • “Grab & Go” distribution times:
      • Tue: Meal Distributions, 1 – 3 p.m.
      • Wed: Meals & Produce Distributions, 3 – 5 p.m.
      • Thu: Meals & Mobile Food Distributions, 1 – 3 p.m.
      • Fri: Produce Distribution, 1 – 3 p.m.
  5. Hallie Q. Brown Community Center
    • 270 N Kent St, St Paul, MN 55102
    • Hours: Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m open for donations and distribution

For more locations in Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and surrounding areas, check out this Twin Cities Mutual Aid map and the Ramsey County Food Resources map. Whether you are donating items, looking to volunteer, or in need of supplies, these are useful tools.

Education on Race

An important part of community is learning about each other. But, where do we begin?

Check out Saint Paul Public Libraries page about race. On there you can find books, videos, and other materials to better educate yourself and your family on current and historical race relations in the United States. (They included a video of one of our Karen Culture Presentations!)

The U of M Extension Center for Youth Development shared resources about youth trauma, race, and racialized violence. Here is some of what they shared:

We encourage you to take some time reading, watching, and listening. Let’s all learn more about our shared histories and how to support each other.

An Open Letter to the Community

As an organization, KOM has signed on to an open letter to the community drafted by the Coalition for Asian American Leaders calling for unity and solidarity in the face of violence.

“Earlier this week, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was murdered by the Minneapolis police. George Floyd’s death is a continuation of the long history of criminalization, dehumanization, and oppression of Black lives in this country since its founding. As immigrants and refugees to the U.S., our families may not always understand this history, but we inherited its legacy. Our communities have also benefited from Black freedom struggles that paved the way for our own fights for freedom and equal treatment in America. So, in this moment, it matters that we commit to Black liberation and raise our voices to say that #BlackLivesMatter. We emphatically call on our Asian communities to center George Floyd’s life and continue to amplify the demands from his family and community for justice…” 

Continue reading the full letter: Open Letter to Community: A Call for Unity and Solidarity in the Face of Violence

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