For Asian American Pacific Islander Month, I wanted to recognize the Operations warehouse team for their hard work on the frontline throughout this pandemic. When COVID-19 hit, there was so much uncertainty around the impact it would have on our community.
I have seen and learned so much through this pandemic. As essential workers who could not work from home, we could not know the severity of what we were facing. Each day we put our lives on the line for the commitment to feed our community. For that, our ACCFB Operations team, including warehouse staff and drivers, are heroes who showed their true warrior spirit.
I also wanted to address the wave of hate crimes the AAPI community has been experiencing. For so long, AAPI has been ignored and invisible to racial injustices, often brushed off as “not that bad.” Violence is not the answer, Love is. We need hope for understanding one another and space to celebrate each other.
That is how the ACCFB Operations Unity Chant was born.
I wanted to showcase the strength of the Ops warehouse team to build morale and stand by AAPI in solidarity and unity while honoring my heritage. Polynesians are known to be humble, hardworking, and family-oriented, with strong community roots and a collective spirit. I wanted to share that with the team that we are all one people.
Through a Polynesian-style chant of call & response, the warehouse team learned a piece of my Samoan heritage. Everyone came to practice with an open mind, was full of respect, and had a willingness to learn. We were able to share space and be a community together.
I want to acknowledge Erick Lovdahl, Director of Operations for the green light, Steve Parker, Transportation Manager, for the encouragement. Everyone who showed up for one day and felt the experience or through the duration of the practice and gave their all with intense spirit, Much Alofa.
It was beautiful to see the warehouse team learn a piece of my Samoan heritage for AAPI Month. There is value in bringing people together, showing appreciation, and understanding culture through participation.
This is our ACCFB community, and together, we are one. This brings Unity.
Faafetai ma Alofa Atu,
Thank you and much love,
Lisa Felice was raised in Oakland through her elementary school years at Brookfield Elementary and in UnionCity/Fremont during her Middle and High School years. She learned about her Samoan culture through her grandfather’s church, holding luaus and dancing for fundraising, and danced for several halau (hula groups)in Hayward. Lisa is the proud mother of five children, a grandmother to nine grandchildren, and one grand puppy. Lisa’s worked in Retail, Banking, Armored Car Service, Administrative Assistant, and now Distribution Specialist at ACCFB. She is also a community advocate for the National Neighborhood block watch, volunteer voting poll, and was the PTA President Oakland High 2015.