The Changing Boundaries of a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been many things, including a very long exercise in boundary setting. From reminding people to stay 6 feet away from us, to asking family members not to interrupt work meetings, to limiting hugs with friends, we all spent more than a year verbalizing our safety and comfort needs in ways we’d never had to do before. 

Congratulations to all of us! We did enough to make it to today.


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Our turn to have the talk.

AAPI folks are having “the talk” with the elders about safety, resistance, and getting home alive.  

News of Asian and Pacific Islander American elders being attacked in the streets has brought our communities front and center in the latest chapter of the long history of racial violence and white supremacy in America. 

Concern about making it home safely may feel new to some Asian Americans, but Black parents in America have been having “the talk” with their kids for generations, offering a range of advice for not getting killed by the hand of racism. Their list of not-to-dos has grown and evolved: be polite, don’t resist, don't wear a hoodie...

Many Asian Americans are now having “the talk” with our elderly parents and grandparents and scrambling for safety and resistance strategies: don't go out alone, don't ride the bus, carry a taser, call the police…

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Starting 2021 with Gratitude

We wanted to start the new year with a heartfelt THANK YOU to every one of you. Because of your generosity, we were able to meet our 2020 fundraising goal! But more importantly, the support of our community as we crossed into 2021 has allowed us to position ourselves for an exciting year to come.

In case you missed it, here is our 2020 Report. We hope you share our pride in what we've done and where we're going!


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Boundaries Check In Worksheet!

Whether you think of this time of year as autumn, fall, back-to-school season, or PSL season, it is a time when many of us are experiencing some shifts in routine. At IMPACT we are celebrating "Pumpkin Spice Boundaries Season" and letting the season inspire us to take a look at closer look at how safe and comfortable we are feeling. While 2020 may look a little different from past years, the changing of seasons is a great time to re-examine, redefine, or restate our boundaries.

We put together a worksheet to help you take a look at your boundaries (you can download a PDF here)!

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Diana's Story: Creating New Narratives

Creating New Narratives

Trigger Warning: harassment, date-rape, stalking, sexual and physical assault

Sometimes people take IMPACT classes as part of their healing process. For Diana Sciarretta, taking IMPACT classes was a crucial step as she grapples with and strives to overcome past trauma. Diana feels powerful in being able to share her story with others. This piece does contain elements that might be difficult or triggering for some to read. 

I came from a culture which teaches that women should be on alert all the time and therefore, need to be protected,” Diana shares, “because life’s tragedies could break you.” Diana further explains that her family carries, still--to this day--the intergenerational traumas around the death of a young child and her grandparents’ subsequent “emotional and physical collapse.” Diana is an IMPACT LGBTQ+ Basics Alumna and the Director of The Red and Orange House, which gives transformative arts programming to people living with trauma and illness. 

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Stephanie's Story: Bring it to the Mat

Bring it to the Mat

Stephanie Somersille

“Bring it to the mat!” Stephanie Somersille exclaims as she shares how “all emotions are welcome and validated” at IMPACT Bay Area’s classes. Stephanie is the Board Chair of IMPACT Bay Area and the Founder of Somersille Math Education Services. 

Stephanie remembers being “so impressed by the quality of the instructors and assistants…and by all of these fierce, super strong, and compassionate women [in the Women’s Basics class].” During IMPACT’s courses, Stephanie became inspired by her peers and gained a sense of female solidarity as well as self-confidence. 


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Self-Defense in a Racist World

“There is an African-American man recording me and threatening myself and my dog,” Amy Cooper said on the phone with the police. She was unhappy that a Black man, Christian Cooper wanted her to leash her dog, so she called the police. Her words sounded eerily similar to something we teach in our self-defense classes.

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IMPACT's Favorite Songs of the Pandemic

Music brings people together, and it feels like a lot of us could use a little togetherness right now. So we are excited to bring to you, our wonderful IMPACT community, this playlist of IMPACT's Favorite Songs of the Pandemic!

We asked our instructors to share one empowering, IMPACT-ful song that is meaningful for them right now, and that might help others as we all navigate the recent changes. One thing that's clear from this list is that, no matter whether the threat is a potential assailant or a global pandemic, IMPACT's fighting spirit stays strong.

Check out the tracks below, get up and dance, and let us know your favorites!  Click here for the Spotify playlist, or follow links below to Youtube.

Bonus: What's on your pandemic playlist? Let us know in the comments:

  1. What's one song that's getting you through this pandemic-- or this week, or just today?
  2. What is it about that song?


IMPACT's Favorite Songs of the Pandemic

Savage Remix feat. Beyoncé - Megan Thee Stallion
Whistle instructor Jemma says: "They did us a public service by making song you have to get off your couch and dance in your mirror too. Can't forget to love on ourselves (and move a little) during a plague."

Mask, Gloves, Soap, Scrubs - Todrick Hall
Suited instructor Mariko says: "This song brings light into my day when I’m stressed out about quarantine."

Dance Again - Selena Gomez
Whistle instructor Aria says: "Just dancing again after a long time!"

It's Only feat. Zyra - ODESZA
Suited instructor Ryan says: "Soothing music with a beat combined with distinctly dark lyrics somehow feels suitable during worldwide upheaval where the best way we can help is to stay at home."

Going Gets Tough - The Growlers
Suited instructor Sam says: "Its a song about resilience through disaster: Worry is a bully that just won’t let me be / Trying to keep me busy hustling and struggling / Still always remember, when the going gets tough / That the labor of our love will reward us soon enough."

Bathroom Floor - Maddie and Tae
Whistle instructor Aria says: "Inspiring after a breakup, or just a bad day as well."

Brave Face - Frank Turner
Suited instructor Trew says: "He's got a fighty sort of optimism that feels right for what's going on with the world right now."

Focus On Your Own Family - Off With Their Heads

It's the End of the World - R.E.M.
Whistle instructor Vanessa says: "It's happy / bouncy / reminds me of the 90s :)"

Tubthumping - They Might Be Giants (covering Chumbawamba)
Suited instructor Tim says: "Only after days that have been very hard, because I don’t want the link to lose its magic."

Rise Up - Andra Day
Whistle instructor Linda says: "I play it to my plants that I'm trying to grow and my bread that I'm trying to bake."

Into the Mystic - Van Morrison
Whistle instructor Jenny says: "It reminds me of my son's wedding. A very joyful time."

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IMPACTivities Book!

Hi Everyone!

How are you? Have you done something to treat or nourish yourself today? This is a stressful time, and it is really important to care for yourself as we navigate all that we are being forced to deal with. To help with that, we are proud to present... 

Our brand new, hot off the presses IMPACTivities Book!

Please feel free to download, enjoy, and share! If you want to share any of your completed activity pages - please tag us on social media or email us - we'd love to see them!

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Supporting Those Who are Not Safe at Home

It has been a challenging and stressful time for many people as we try to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19. As our Bay Area, California, and other officials have asked people to stay at home, we have been thinking a lot about people who may not be safe staying at home because they live with someone who is violent or abusive. 

News outlets have reported higher risk of domestic violence during this outbreak, and there have been reports of high rates of violence in places like China, who experienced the outbreak sooner than we did. 

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