Recently, we have been having conversations with film makers, community leaders, researchers, and AAPI youth to get a better sense of how we can create a broad-based movement to be more visible and active, and to have our views and concerns taken more seriously.
We realize that part of the problem is how others perceive us (for example, see our post on how mainstream news media largely ignored AAPIs in the Hawaii caucuses, even though they are two-thirds of the electorate there; let’s hope there is better coverage in New York and California).
But, undeniably, part of the problem is also internal to our communities. Our search for identity and success is very limiting, and we hope to change that in a fundamental way. We’ll have more to say later, but here is a snippet:
#MoreThanBoba: While Latinos and African Americans are energized by the immigrant rights movement and Black Lives Matter, many in our community are still stuck in trying to “find ourselves” and our identities in America’s racial order. While identity is an empowering process for other groups, for most AAPIs identity is about consuming culture: boba, samosas, K-Pop, and YouTube. We need to change the narrative.
#MoreThanCareer and #MoreThanGPA: Many of us grew up in families where success was very narrowly defined, doing well in school and getting a stable, well-paying job. Only much later do we discover that we can break out these narrow expectations. For some, it will mean following their life passions in their choice of career, while for others, it will mean inspiring others to volunteer, contribute, and empower our communities.
Please share your stories using any of these #MoreThan hashtags: #MoreThanBoba, #MoreThanSamosa, #MoreThanKpop, #MoreThanCareer, #MoreThanGPA.
We—a group of film makers, researchers, and story tellers—are inspired by your example, and we are excited to do our part to change AAPI culture, towards one of greater voice and greater empowerment.
Thank you, and more soon!