Watch: A conversation on visibility and political power in the AAPI community
On Friday, May 28, Axios business reporter Hope King, executive editor Sara Kehaulani Goo and Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo discussed sustaining momentum beyond this month and this year, spotlighting philanthropic, media and grassroots leaders, featuring Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Georgia Advancing Progress PAC chair Cam Ashling, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta executive director Stephanie Cho, actor and producer Daniel Dae Kim, Welcome to Chinatown co-founder Victoria Lee and the Asian American Foundation president Sonal Shah.
- Sonal Shah on educating people about the Asian-American experience: "We need to educate others about our communities, who we are, what we are. We are part of the American story. We are living the American story and making sure that the Asian-American story is part of that story."
- Daniel Dae Kim on representation in media: "42% of Americans can't name a single prominent Asian-American...We're really talking about a real gap...One task in this mission is to create that narrative, to change our perceptions in the media, to recreate our story, and to make sure that we have an education that doesn't allow us to be invisible in the future."
- Sen. Mazie Hirono on the passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Bill: "This was really important for the AAPI community to have the Senate [and] the House...stand with the AAPI community. Something that was so important to the community that has often felt invisible."
- Stephanie Cho on the Asian-American electorate in the Southeast: "[There is] a coming age of the Asian-American electorate here...I think we're going to start to see more and more participation despite all of the voter suppression bills. Honestly, Georgia has been a test state for these voter suppression bills. And in spite of all of that, the Asian-American community, the larger BIPOC community overall has increasingly stepped up and really activated our bases."
- Victoria Lee on equity in grassroots organizing: "We have to have a hyper-local approach. We don't assume technology access. We don't assume language access. Much of our work means what we need to go door to door, give out fliers and ensure that there's something written."
- Cam Ashling on building lasting political power: "In Georgia, the Asian-American vote was the margin of victory for Biden. And we were a huge part of the Senate wins, too. So we know we have political power now and we know we can make a difference."