May marks the celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but throughout the country, the AAPI community continues to be persecuted instead of celebrated. To combat the racism that has arisen during the coronavirus pandemic, celebrities are rallying around a new social media campaign called #UnapologeticallyAsian.
The #UnapologeticallyAsian aims to combat racism and xenophobia by uplifting the AAPI community. It was organized by Jeremiah Abraham, an entertainment marketing and publicity executive, and the organizers of a campaign called “Racism is a Virus.”
The organizers are asking social media users to upload videos in which they discuss why they are “unapologetically Asian.”
“The news around the AAPI community has been filled with hate and fear in recent weeks,” Abraham told AsAmNews in an email. “We wanted to help shift that negativity to something more productive and uplifting.”
Several celebrities have already participated in the campaign. Lana Condor of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before joined the campaign on its first day. So did Asian Canadian actor Osric Chau (CW’s “Supernatural) who told the story of how he was teased for eating red bean buns at school. He was known as “the kid who eats poo.”
Actress Celia Au (Netflix’s “Wu Assassins”), dragqueen Ongina and Chantal Thuy (The CW’s Black Lightning) have also taken to social media to share why they’re “unapologetically Asian.
One of the goals of the campaign is to create a positive community for AAPIs and to remind them they’re not alone.
“We hope that a flood of uplifting messages throughout AAPI Heritage Month will help spark productive conversations and remind ourselves that we are not alone in all of this uncertainty,” Abraham said in an email.
The anti-Asian rhetoric that has arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic has pigeonholed the AAPI community, focusing mostly on East Asian stereotypes. Abraham also hopes #UnapologeticallyAsian will help highlight the diversity within the AAPI community.
“By highlighting what makes each individual “unapologetic,” we hope to highlight the uniqueness of AAPIs everywhere and perhaps inspire the next generation of leaders in the community,” Abraham said in an email.
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