Teen Fashion Designer Advocates Against AAPI Hate

June 25, 2021

Hana Mangat, 17, is a junior at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland. In 2012, she co-founded the youth-run organization, Sikh Kid 2 Kid, with the mission of eradicating ignorance with the power of education. Through Sikh Kid 2 Kid, she has played a key role in developing and implementing a cultural and religious literacy training program for educators. Hana is also the president of her class, the founder of Cultural Society, an active public speaker for bullying prevention initiatives, an officer of the Minority Scholars Program, and a delegate of the Anti Defamation League’s National Youth Leadership Mission.

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Courtesy of Angela So

In this interview, I spoke to Ashlyn So, a 13-year-old activist, and fashion designer. Ashlyn has been organizing rallies in response to the rise in hate against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. As a part of her activism and larger passion, Ashlyn launched an online shop with clothing she designed that align with the Stop Asian Hate movement. All proceeds from the shop go towards AAPI small businesses and towards supporting Ashlyn’s mission of including AAPI history in the school system.

I spoke to Ashlyn about her courage to organize in her community, the inspiration behind her fashion, and what kindness and solidarity mean to her. Check out her story below + you can follow her at @ashlynso_ on Instagram and view her fashion designs at ashlynso.com/!

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