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As Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month is nearing its end, celebrities are using their voices to speak up about what makes them #UnapologeticallyAsian in a social media campaign.
Social media is a great way to spread messages and ideas, as can be seen recently when Asian Twitter rallied together to support the black community. The campaign has social media users share videos of what makes them #UnapologeticallyAsian as a message of confidence for the community.
The campaign was co-founded by Diane Pheln who started the Broadway Diversity Project and Jeremiah Abraham, CEO of Tremendous Communications and Co-Producer of Sony Pictures’ “Yellow Rose”. The project was started as a positive reaction to all of the xenophobia targeted toward the Asian community as a result of COVID-19.
Recently, many prominent Asian celebrities have taken on the hashtag and made it their own including Lana Candor, Janel Parrish, Courtney Reed, Ryan Palao, and more, sharing their personal stories of growing up Asian and/or their definition of being Asian now.
Actor Osric Chau, known for his role in television series “Supernatural”, shared a story many Asian kids experienced growing up, the “lunch box story.” In the video, Chau recalled how the kids saw the red bean buns his mother had packed for him as poo.
“It wasn’t until I just embraced the fact that, you know what, I am the kid that loves to eat poo… but it was actually red bean buns,” Chau said in his video. “I just took that and I felt way better.”
Chau said he felt ashamed of his Asian features and inclinations.
“It wasn’t until I fully embraced the marriage of my heritage and the western culture that I grew up in that I felt like I came into my own as a fully fledged human being,” he told Phelan and Tremendous Communications.
Actor Jake Choi shares what might make him unapologetically Asian: food and cooking. He shared his favorite Korean dish, Kimchi-jjigae, and Thai iced tea.
Actress Chantal Thuy felt saddened by the stories in the media about Asians being attacked and how love and culture are a few of the many traits that would strengthen the community, she told Phelan and Tremendous Communications.
“I am proud of my Vietnamese background. I grew up in a medley of cultures including Canadian, Quebec, US and Vietnamese culture and I love containing multitudes,” she said. “I take pride in the values that have been passed down to me by my refugee parents; by the culture and religion I have inherited; by the mothership food, music and language I get to revel in.”
“The campaign as born from a desire to reclaim our power as Asians in America,” Abraham told NextShark. “We decided one day that we needed to help shift the narrative to remind ourselves that we are strong and confident people. I hope this campaign helps empower and inspire our next generation of leaders.”
Check out #UnapologeticallyAsian for more stories about Asian pride.
Feature images via @unapologeticallyasian