KAT YANG-STEVENS IS A QUEER FEMME PERSON AND FIRST GENERATION ASIAN AM* OF CHINESE ANCESTRY LIVING WITH CHRONIC PHYSICAL ILLNESS & PAIN. KAT GREW UP ON AND CURRENTLY LIVES ON OCCUPIED TERRITORIES BELONGING TO THE ONONDAGA & CAYUGA NATIONS OF THE HAUDENOSAUNEE CONFEDERACY IN SO-CALLED NEW YORK. NARROWLY ESCAPING THE TENTACLES OF THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE IN THE POST INDUSTRIAL RUSTBELT REGION OF NY & HAVING NO FORMAL EDUCATION OR DEGREES, KAT UNDERSTANDS THE NEED FOR, AND WORKS TO CREATE, SPACES THAT VALUE AND PROMOTE KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION AND EDUCATION OUTSIDE STATE AND PRIVATE STRUCTURES.
KAT HAS ORGANIZED WITH THE FINGER LAKES ACTION NETWORK –A DIRECT ACTION-ORIENTED SOLIDARITY NETWORK BUILDING RESISTANCE TO THE PRESENCE OF EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY, CORPORATE POWER, AND STATE/MILITARY REPRESSION– WHICH THEY ALSO CO-FOUNDED. PREVIOUSLY THEY WORKED AS AN ORGANIZER AND COORDINATOR FOR THE TAR SANDS BLOCKADE AND WITH TEJAS (TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ADVOCACY SERVICES), WHERE THEY WORKED PRIMARILY TO AMPLIFY THE VOICES OF AND SUPPORT THE SELF DETERMINATION OF DIRECTLY IMPACTED INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES AND COMMUNITIES OF COLOR LIVING FENCE-LINE TO REFINERIES PROCESSING TAR SANDS. KAT’S WORK HAS ALSO FOCUSED THE NEEDS OF AND ADVOCATED FOR THE VICTIMS AND FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF VICTIMS OF POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER STARTING WITH ORGANIZING SUPPORT AND DEFENSE FOR THEMSELVES WHEN THEY WERE VICIOUSLY ATTACKED AND BEATEN BY POLICE AT THE AGE OF 17.
A MAIN FOCUS OF THEIR WORK INCLUDES ADDRESSING INTRA-MOVEMENT RACISM, ANTI-INDIGENEITY AND ANTI-BLACKNESS –ESPECIALLY IN ASIAN COMMUNITIES– AND THE BARRIERS THEY PRESENT TO CREATING MEANINGFUL MULTIRACIAL ALLIANCES, PARTICULARLY WORKING TO DEVELOP AND PUSH FOR THE INCORPORATION OF INTERSECTIONAL AND ANTI-COLONIAL FRAMEWORKS WITHIN SHARED BIPOC (BLACK, INDIGENOUS, PEOPLE OF COLOR) SPACES.
AS A CULTURAL CREATOR KAT DESIGNS AND FACILITATES ORIGINAL WORKSHOPS AND PRESENTATIONS ADDRESSING AND CONNECTING ISSUES SUCH AS ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM, SETTLER COLONIALISM, FOOD JUSTICE, PRISON ABOLITION, AND MASS INCARCERATION. THEY DILIGENTLY WORK TO REAPPROPRIATE AND DISTRIBUTE RESOURCES INTO THE CONTROL OF CONSISTENTLY IGNORED AND UNDERFUNDED PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS, ESPECIALLY THOSE ENGAGED IN LAND DEFENSE AND COMMUNITY SELF DEFENSE. THEIR WORK INCLUDES CRITIQUING, ATTACKING, AND CREATING ALTERNATIVES TO THE NON-PROFIT INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, THE ALLY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, AND WHITE “ANTI-RACISM” AS WELL AS MORE GENERALLY EXPANDING ON AND CREATING ANALYSES OF THE DYNAMICS THAT OCCUR WITHIN AND BECAUSE OF THESE SYSTEMS.
ORIGINAL WORKSHOPS, PRESENTATIONS, LECTURES & OTHER SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS by Kat Yang-Stevens
ORIGINAL WORKSHOPS, PRESENTATIONS, LECTURES & OTHER SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS by Kat Yang-Stevens
This interactive workshop/presentation specifically works to help participants move their understandings of settler colonialism as something that happened at a fix point in the past and brings them into an understanding of how settler colonialism is a structure that shapes the entire fabric of our society and how we see ourselves in it. Rather than focusing on linear timelines of “historical” events that are familiar for most people because they are part of the dominant way of thinking Kat has organized a series of lessons based around concepts. These concepts are specifically presented in a way that will help participants to recontextualize the world around them as well as their own identities, these lessons are meant to disrupt deeply ingrained narratives that we live our lives through that uphold and perpetuate oppressive and violent systems. This way of transferring ideas and knowledge can in itself be seen as anti-colonial as it pushes back against the constructs and constraints of Western colonial narratives and the ways that they place value on different ways of learning and knowing as being superior to others.
Kat centers the work of Indigenous, Black, and other people of color feminists to explore how the so-called "Americas" –and specifically the United States– were created and are maintained through complex, nuanced, commonly misunderstood, and deliberately hidden functions of white supremacy. In addition to helping participants to better understand how the nation state functions through processes of ongoing elimination of Indigenous people and imposed “slavability” of Black people, we will also explore the positionality of non-Indigenous & non-Black people of color and how various racialized groups are simultaneously oppressed while also being structured in a way that enables and encourages participating in and upholding white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and the settler colonial project at large. Kat will also present various critiques –from within and outside the academy– to the politics of allyship and the metaphorization of “decolonization” as well as create space for participants to better identify the ways that our cross-racial organizing work needs to be reevaluated and what we can do to grow it in a direction that is less harmful and more effective for meaningful anti-colonial resistance to white supremacy.
This presentation situates the development of East Asian identity in so-called “America” in a framework that has rarely thoroughly been explored.
Kat clearly documents and weaves analysis identifying how the introduction of Chinese laborers to so-called “America” at the tail end of plantation styled chattel slavery helped to ensure westward expansion and a coast to coast actualization of “manifest destiny” for European colonizers on Indigenous lands. We will also discuss how US wars and imperial projects in Asia have shaped the ways that Asian Americans are seen and portrayed in mainstream American culture.
Through this presentation Kat builds critical connections between US settler colonialism, anti-Blackness and the construction of the model minority myth. Centering the work of Black, Indigenous, Asian, and otherwise racialized people of color feminists, Kat explores how orientalism informs what Asian American identity means in contemporary settler colonial American society. Critical analysis from Dylan Rodrı´guez will also be incorporated to address and assess the static and stale existence of Asian American studies in it’s current form.
Ultimately, through this presentation Kat works to situate Asian Americans within a context of resistance to and dismantling white supremacy and the settler colonial nation state with regard to the importance of supporting Black and Indigenous liberation struggles of today. The space will close with group discussion and the creation of tangible next steps for participants to transform what they have learned into praxis for reimagining and forging new types of Asian American radicalism and resistance movements.
This presentation & interactive workshop foregrounds the original analyses put forward by kat yang-stevens in their piece, “Quelling Dissent: How the Big Greens Contain & Dissolve Resistance”. This workshop explores the concepts of "the environment", "environmentalism", "environmental racism", and "environmental justice". What do those terms mean and how can they serve to further reproduce settler colonialism and continuously threaten the sovereignty of Indigenous people world wide? How has the construction of the mainstream environmental movement in the United States revolved around investment in systems and structures of genocide particularly of Indigenous and Black people in the so-called America's? How have Asian Americans been systematically excluded from these spaces? Can there ever be “environmental justice” on stolen land? And of course, how do large green environmental non-profits such as Greenpeace, 350.org, and Energy Action Coalition serve to protect the status quo and contain and dissolve resistance movements?
Space will be facilitated to address these questions and more as well as breaking down the concept of the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) and exploring some of the frequently occurring dynamics that marginalize BIPOC people within organizing spaces of “the environmental movement” such as white saviourism, tokenization, problems with self proclaimed allyship, and the expulsion of “problem” people of color.
This workshop can also include:
A full reading or reading of select excerpts of “Quelling Dissent”
A full reading or reading of select excerpts of “On Anger, Love Voices, & Divisiveness in Their Environmental Movement” by kat yang-stevens which critiques the replication of oppressive dynamics, especially white supremacy, in environmental movement spaces
An interactive round of The NPIC Game created by friends at Indigenous Action Media which aside from being fun helps to develop an understanding of how the NPIC functions in real time
In this interactive presentation Kat focuses on foregrounding an analysis of US settler colonialism calling attention to how it specifically functions and operates as an ongoing structure. Comparisons will be made between the inception and maintenance of both the US and Israel as settler colonial nation states and groundwork will be laid for people to understand the similarities of US & Israeli exceptionalism and how they feed each other.
In addition basic understandings of the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) will be gained and we will explore the positioning of the NPIC as it relates to other structures of domination and control such as the military and prison industrial complexes.
How does the zionist movement in the United States use greenwashing propaganda to gain acceptance within broad based movements purportedly working for social and environmental justice? What can we deduce about NGO run "environmental justice" initiatives in the US when zionist organizations are welcomed and their participation so heavily protected? Is it possible to pursue “environmental justice” while supporting apartheid and genocide? How has occupation impacted the environment and people of Palestine, how has the landscape been altered?
This workshop explores major questions answering them with analyses that shake the very foundations of perceived movements for "environmental" and "social justice" in the so-called US while challenging and attacking the blatant lack of anti-colonial analysis and praxis within leftist spaces.
This discussion breaks down various components that make up the academic industrial complex using real examples from your and other schools to highlight, explore, and challenge limitations of the academy as a sight of knowledge production.
How do academic spaces reproduce ideas and praxis which uphold the status quo? What is the role of academics in resistance movements?
An introduction into understanding settler colonialism will provide foundations to interpret the ways that the academic industrial complex works to serve the interests of and reproduce the settler colonial relationship. The work of Indigenous and Black feminists is centered while making clear connections between the imposition of slavability onto Black peoples’ bodies builds critical connections such as those between ongoing colonization and genocide of Indigenous and Black communities, and how this relates to police violence, border imperialism, mass incarceration, militarism, and other violent forms of white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy that target non-white communities in vastly different yet interconnected ways today.
Kat is an experienced facilitator and educator who works to create original, animated, and refreshing workshops and presentations synthesizing a wide array of histories, analyses, and personal experiences to create a unique pedagogy. Kat's work as an educator is not just about building foundations for intersectional praxis in our organizing work, their workshops and presentations are specifically structured to disrupt the status quo by channeling the resources of the academic and non-profit world towards empowering marginalized and underrepresented communities. Kat facilitates lectures and workshops at colleges, universities, community centers, etc. In addition to helping to cover the costs of basic living expenses and providing funding for website overhead and workshop materials, honorariums go to directly fund and support grassroots initiatives and organizers with marginalized identities.
I do NOT accept requests from colleges and universities asking me to work for free.
I do provide sliding scale fees for groups and community organizations with limited funds. If you would like to discuss sliding scale fees please be sure to note that when you submit your booking inquiry which can be done below.
I have also, and am willing to continue to, work with community organizers to make arrangements to provide free workshops/trainings/events for grassroots community organizations with marginalized identities. I prioritize and give special consideration to communities engaged in frontline community self defense no matter the location.
I ask that you commit to work towards raising funds for an honorarium plus travel and lodging.
If you attend a College or University with greater access to resources I ask that you work to provide the largest amount possible in honorarium.
The higher an honorarium is from a college/university the more I am able to redirect resources from academic spaces to provide sliding scale low-cost or free workshops and events for primarily impacted communities with no or limited funds.
In some cases raising honorarium funds may require you to work with other clubs/organizations/departments on campus or with a neighboring campus or community organization. This can and has been done many times and is more achievable than you may think at first. You may still contact me with booking inquiries if you’re not certain where your funding will be coming from but are committed to organizing to attain it.
Testaments to – and Appreciation for– Kat & Their Work
Testaments to – and Appreciation for– Kat & Their Work
The continued support I have received from my friends and the various communities I belong to has been life sustaining for me as I have struggled to maintain security through a string of ongoing attacks both by people on the left and organized white supremacist and zionists. Special thanks to students with the Oberlin College Asian American Student Alliance who have organized a sign-on letter of support for me.
Visit www.katyangstevens.com several times from both a computer and your phone or tablet if you have them. The more visits my site receives the further up it will climb on Google’s search result list, meaning the more likely that someone vetting me will see my website before they encounter –or at least in addition to– some of the other descriptions of me such as, “Moron Alert! Queer Asian Marxist”, “Kat Yang-Stevens Really Hates Jews” or “Meet Kat Yang-Stevens: The Craziest Anti-Israel Boycotter”. Similarly, if you run a website, blog, or tumblr consider linking to my website, this will also help my website to be recognized by Google.
If you have been to any of my workshops, presentations, panels, or an action or event that I have been a part of organizing, if you have read my work, or have had some other memorable experience with me– please consider submitting a short “testimonial”. This will help people whose only conceptualization of me exists based on what they see on the internet to better understand me, my work, and my intentions.
Personally reach out to people that you know at organizations, colleges, and universities and encourage them to book me for a workshop or presentation. Specifically, let them know about the skills that I possess as an educator and organizer.
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If you are in a position of relative privilege and appreciate the work that I do and the ways that I support my communities; please consider making a donation. Although I am currently in a stable housing situation I still have many expenses to cover in regards to my physical and mental health and my new website is not cheap to host! You can send me donations by clicking here or via the PayPal website or app using the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm currently working to save funds to buy my own portable projector. This would allow me to do be able to avoid the almost always inevitable technical issues that happen when setting up events as well as to be able to do pop-up workshops in public spaces and at actions/events that take place outdoors or in places without electricity.
I'm also working to save money for a hand held video camera and audio equipment for interviews, educational videos, and other projects & purposes!
I'm also in the process of finding and beginning a new treatment program to help align my spine and relieve some of the physical pain I live with. The treatment sessions are very expensive and not covered by insurance; I terminated my treatment plan last year after just two sessions due to lack of funds.