5 Young Asian Activists Building A Kinder World

May 04, 2021
This story took place in United States

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The Asian-American community has been the victim of hate crimes all across the country, and it’s up to everyone to help protect, support, and advocate for their community. In addition to raising awareness with #StopAsianHate, AAPI youth are raising their voices and sharing their activism work. Here are just five youth activists from the AAPI community you should be following:

Ashlyn So
This 13-year-old fashion designer started sewing at age 6 and has even showed her designs at New York Fashion Week. Known for her Avant-garde styles, she’s now combining her love for fashion with her passion for activism. When the pandemic started, Ashlyn started to create masks for nurses and doctors, which resulted in her earning the title of “People’s Hero” at the E! People’s Choice Awards. She even organized a #StandForAsians rally with her mom in her hometown of San Francisco and developed face masks with the words “Peaceful Rally #STANDFORASIANS”. She has also started a petition to include Asian American history in school curriculums. Learn more about Ashlyn here and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.


Stephanie Hu
Stephanie Hu is the founder and editor-in-chief of Dear Asian Youth, a nonprofit organization that empowers Asian youth into intersectional activism. Founded when she was 16 in May 2020, this youth-led group has expanded to 160 chapters in 17 countries, and they have completed 30 webinars, workshops, and activism projects around the world. They even have a digital online zine that invites Asian youth to share their stories, poems, artwork, and op-eds; toolkits for voter registration, Title IX, and Black Lives Matter, and a podcast entitled Dear Asian Girl. Be sure to follow Dear Asian Youth on Instagram and Twitter!


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William Yu
William Yu is a Korean writer known for his work increasing Asian representation in film. An award-winning screenwriter known for his work in films such as Love You, Charlie and the Shorty Award-winning series #StarringJohnCho, William fuses his film work to spark conversations about the authentic representation of the AAPI community, in addition to engaging audiences via public speaking in his talk “The Rise of the New Asian American.”  You can find out more about William’s work via his website here or follow him on Twitter or Instagram.


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Amanda Nguyen
Founder of the nonprofit Rise and a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Amanda Nguyen has been making waves in activism, helping victims of rape and sexual assault through her advocacy work. Through her Millenial-driven nonprofit, she works to “bring equality to sexual assault survivors across the country and around the world.” She is now using her platform to speak out against Asian-American hate and racism and even created the below video that went viral calling for media attention on the attacks against the AAPI community, allies to support the community, and for systemic change. You can follow Amanda on Twitter, Instagram, or her website here.


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A post shared by Amanda Nguyễn (@amandangocnguyen)


Alysa Monteagudo
This 16-year-old created “so she CAN” – a student-led organization aimed to specifically help uplift the voices of marginalized people, communities, and women. Seeing the lack of women and Asian women, Alysa created CAN as a way to fill that gap, empower others, and inspire and create change. CAN even has their own podcast called “so she CAN speak” where they discuss contemporary issues and highlight women. To learn more about CAN, visit their website here, and don’t forget to follow them on Instagram and Facebook!


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A post shared by so she CAN (@soshecanorg)


The AAPI community has experienced significant struggles throughout history with racism, hate, and systemic barriers, but they have also proven that they are resilient, powerful, resourceful, and a crucial fabric of American society.  As the nation continues to grapple with the racist implications and rhetoric of the Coronavirus pandemic and the uptick of hate crimes,  we must continue to be aware of — and educate ourselves about — injustices faced by Asian-Americans.

 For additional resources to follow that spread education and combat hatred in the AAPI community, check out the following websites:

  • Stop AAPI Hate: The Stop AAPI Hate campaign is filled with a variety of ways to engage with social justice issues the AAPI community faces, including research reports, safety tips, ways to report a hate incident, and more.  You can follow along with the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #StopAAPIHate or by following the account @StopAAPIHate. 
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice: AAJC — a nonprofit founded in 1991 and based in Washington, D.C. — is on a mission to “ advance the civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.”  The organization does this by promoting various forms of legal advocacy as well as helping others engage in anti-Asian hate.

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