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20 Inspiring Women On Growing Up Asian American

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Tracy Nguyễn

Today’s feature can be a hard one to read, but we think it’s important that you do so. After the barrage of hate crimes against people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in 2020 and 2021, children’s boutique owner, mother, and second-generation Korean-American Caroline Kim decided to do something about it. In May of this year, she launched the AAPI-focused, social media-based fundraising initiative Joy Not Hate as a way to bring fellow L.A.-based creative entrepreneurs together to raise funds for Advancing Justice.

In addition to auctioning off an array of covetable goods by AAPI-owned brands, Caroline also sees Joy Not Hate as an opportunity to tell these entrepreneurs’ very personal accounts of growing up Asian American in the U.S.—including sharing heartbreaking stories of racial discrimination, as well as stories of resilience and hope.

Below, we are sharing 20 of these women’s interviews. Many of them are tales of perseverance as they bravely break the cycle of silence that was modeled by some of their parents, in order to blaze a new trail forward for folks of AAPI heritage in their own generation, as well as their children’s. Click through our slideshow to read their diverse perspectives and find out the many ways we can all unite to #stopasianhate for good.

To note: Joy Not Hate plans to launch its next auction and series of interviews with New York-based creatives in early August. Other U.S. cities are planned for the near future. The organization also strives to include more South Asian and Pacific Islander voices to their series, to showcase the full breadth of diversity in the AAPI community. 

This article was originally published on July 13, 2021.

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