HONORING AANHPI HERITAGE
The organizations and Gen Zs that exemplify the cultures
Today, more than 24 million U.S. citizens identify as either Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander (AANHPI). The Asian diaspora is exceptionally diverse, with 40-plus ethnic subgroups comprising the community. Now more than ever, the complex Asian American experience is being recognized as an integral part of the fabric of America, and with May dedicated to Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Month, a celebration of the historical and cultural contributions of AANHPI in the United States, we’re excited to learn more about and bring you the Gen Z organizations and people taking a stand for a more equitable, secure and inclusive society.
AAPI YOUTH RISING
Fourteen-year-old Mina Fedor was in seventh grade in 2020 when violence against the Asian American Pacific Islander community began to spike. But, instead of retreating, she decided to push back against the attacks and the heartbreaking headlines they generated by creating something hopeful. AAPI Youth Rising is a student-led organization whose mission is to take small actions to make positive change in our communities. The ONE/180 pledge pushes schools to dedicate one day to teaching AAPI-focused lessons out of every 180-day school year. Their work has also been widely recognized. Mina received the Changemaker of the Year Award from the anti-bullying group Act to Change and was a finalist for Time’s 2022 Kid of the Year.
- Janelle, 23, NV (Cassandra Collective)
As identified in Cassandra’s I-Identfy report, 65% of Gen Z Asians feel that they are not seeing enough diversity in advertising today. However, while Asian storytellers in Hollywood are making changes on our television and movie screens with dimensional complex characters (we’re looking at you, Beef), Asian creators and influencers are ushering in an exciting, diverse wave of representation and compelling voices across social media too. Hina Sabatine, a Japanese non-binary lesbian content creator, has become a TikTok force to reckon with, amassing 1.7M followers thanks in part to their iconic lesbian parent character that’s taken over your FYP. Mele is a 19-year-old Polynesian creator who informs her 1M followers on Hawaiian customs and traditions while performing Hula.
- Faith, 18, CA (Cassandra Collective)
DEAR ASIAN YOUTH
As a youth-led organization, Dear Asian Youth is dedicated to uplifting and promoting the Asian community with 180 chapters across 18 countries and more than 105K followers on its various social platforms. Dear Asian Youth works to spread educational content and give other AANHPI people a place to congregate and share stories. In addition, the group hosts several virtual events, promotes AANHPI voices in literature, and encourages civic engagement in marginalized communities. Their upcoming podcast season, Dear Asian Girl, is the centerpiece of the organization, covering a wide range of topics from politics and relationships to much tougher areas, such as the turmoil Asian women face regarding gender and race.