By: Leyen Trang
The Door Knock Host program, created by AAOP, was designed to engage community members and provide support in creating new community leaders.
Jay Colond (pictured right) from Falcon Heights has been involved in his community both professionally and during his personal time as a volunteer in the past. He joined AAOP in Fall 2016 as one of the Door Knock Hosts for Falcon Heights to learn more about his neighborhood and to get to know his neighbors. It was a different experience in leading a community event to engage his community members.
“Hosting the door knock has led me to believe that reaching out to community members at their homes proactively can yield insights that might not be available at hosted event,” he said. These conversations at community members’ homes felt more candid and Colond pointed out, “some participants simply may not have attended a hosted ‘engagement’ event.”
Kong Pha (pictured left) from East Side St. Paul, who had also signed up to be a door knock host in Fall 2016, adds, “I was able to make connections with new people and community members whom were also interested and passionate in community organizing and engagement… I also had the chance to talk to residents on the East Side that I have not talked to before.”
Some of the candid conversations that came up during the door knock included a conversation between Pha and an elderly Asian woman who had not known she could vote. After a short conversation, the woman promised she would go out and vote.
Colond shared two very personal story of anti-Asian racism, from two separate professionals having experience discrimination in their workplaces.
“They articulated clear experiences of systemic racism and oppression in hiring, promotion, and culture – but did not invoke the terminology of white supremacy. I was struck by the hunger to talk more deeply about issues of anti-Asian racism, Asian political identity, and Asian racial identity that these mature community leaders expressed,” he said.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Door Knock Host program, check out this report of the findings from the conversations. To learn more about how to be a Door Knock host for Summer and Fall 2017, click here.