Tragedy tends to magnify deep-rooted problems in desperate need of solving. In the first months of the life-altering pandemic (and social distancing), the murder of George Floyd re-energized the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, the Atlanta-area murders of multiple Asian women—as well as the rise of hate crimes against the Asian community—have reminded us that supporting underrepresented communities must go beyond a trendy hashtag. Furthermore, this is work that shouldn’t rest on the shoulders of the oppressed; allyship matters, especially for content creators.
We already know the power and importance of celebrating one another. Our SHE Media Partner Network is comprised of women from all walks of life, and boosting their work is something we’ve committed to doing, day in and day out. Still, there’s always more we could do, whether we identify as a creator or supporter. Ahead, 13 SHE Media partners share how we can go beyond monetary donations—which we recommend doing if you can!—to create a cultural shift that benefits the AAPI (Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders) community and other underserved groups.
Sonal Solanki, founder of Eat More Art
An award-winning vegetarian food blog celebrating love, beauty, and wholesomeness on a platter.
“The AAPI community brings a whole new spectrum of content and perspectives, which is a part of the overall worldview in understanding different cultures and ethnicities. Oftentimes, they are immigrants who go underrepresented due to a variety of challenges. But nevertheless, they are a crucial part of the content creator community. By sharing and consuming content created by them, not only do we benefit by getting enriched with the knowledge they share, but the AAPI community also benefits as they get extra motivation to do more and better.”
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Kristen Morita, founder of Mochi Mommy
A blog featuring Asian recipes, family activities, and educational resources for any parent or educator who wants to be more involved in the AAPI community.
“I definitely feel that AAPI creators are underrepresented, especially for how popular Asian culture (especially in categories like food, beauty, music, etc.) seems to be among the general population. My advice to those looking to better support AAPI creators is to first take a closer look at the creators you’re already supporting: Don’t settle for any that are borrowing from Asian cultures without giving proper credit and then call them out on it if you do see that. If you’re inspired by Asian culture, then seek out the Asian voices who are creating content around it and share it with the world. That’s how AAPI creators can land book deals, modeling contracts, and other higher profile opportunities that can increase Asian representation in mainstream media—by increasing the demand for them.”
Cheeia Xiong, founder of Notesbycheeia
A blog bringing cool back into motherhood by helping new moms stay on top of trends.
“A way for brands to better represent Asians is to give credit to where credit is due. We appreciate and we are proud when other people can find inspiration from our culture and our cultural designs, but it is rarely ever given credit or an appreciation for the culture in which the designs were created or utilized from. Another way to better support the AAPI community is continued collaboration between creators and not necessarily exploiting Asian creativity and culture but instead working together equally to utilize our various ethnic roots for unity and the success of both collaborators. Creating a culmination of ethnicity which is what makes us uniquely American, a nation of immigrants.”
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Debbie Savage, founder of To Thine Own Style Be True
A blog where women can learn to look and feel their best through relatable and inspiring content on style and beauty.
“As a woman of Cambodian descent whose family immigrated to America for peace and protection, the recent events break my heart and highlight the importance of community support. Growing up as a first-generation Asian-American in America made me realize that representation matters, whether in the media or the beauty industry—we should be celebrating and recognizing our differences. Little girls should be able to grow up seeing Asian-American women that look like them on social media and in magazines.
In light of recent violent events and in an effort to support creators part of the AAPI community not just in the next few days but over the long term, consider doing small gestures such as using their affiliate links when shopping, engaging with their sponsored posts on social media, acknowledging Asian beauty trends and practices when replicating them (gua sha, K-beauty) and holding brands accountable to do the same, and sharing their profiles and blogs with your friends. These steps, which may seem insignificant at first glance, can truly help create lasting change by giving AAPI creators a voice and ensuring a more accurate representation of America, which is made stronger by our diversity. It is time to change the narrative.”
Ha Dinh, founder of Happy Days in First Grade
A business providing fun and innovative teaching ideas and resources to busy primary teachers and parents.
“AAPI representation is so important in the creator community as we are often underrepresented. AAPI creators bring a wealth of experiences that allows us to connect with so many customers who see themselves in us or are simply eager to learn more about our diverse culture and experiences. One of the best ways to support us is to create a space for us to highlight our strengths and voice in various campaigns throughout the year. In addition, stand up for us and stand with us in solidarity when our community is attacked as we do with other marginalized communities. We are better together when we stand united.”
A blog run by a working mom who loves to figure skate and bake, but not at the same time.
“All Asians are not the same. There are so many wonderful people from various Asian countries. One great way learn about our cultures and by supporting AAPI bloggers like me is to eat your way through all the various foods each country has—starting with mine! I highly recommend these pan-fried pork soup dumplings.”
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Catherine Zhang, founder of Catherine Zhang
A website featuring the Zumbo’s Just Desserts winner’s trademark desserts inspired by both Asian and European cuisine.
“The current community of creators is of diverse backgrounds and cultures, however, minority groups are still being under-represented. We are provided with so many new and amazing platforms, however it is still harder for us to be heard. This is so paradoxical, especially within the food creator space, because food is one of the mediums that brings us together. I find our community glorifies Asian foods, ingredients and trends, yet when it comes to Asian creator representation, there is so little. We literally put our hearts and backgrounds on a plate as we share our background and heritage, and more appreciation for the people behind the ingredients and techniques rather than the food itself would mean the world.”
Serena Dorman, founder of Mommy Cusses
A sweary, sarcastic, and relatable parenting humor blog that delivers meme-sized solidarity. Pre-order the Mommy Cusses book here.
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A Houston-based blog with an interest in the city’s unique and diverse food scene, Japanese street fashion and kawaii culture.
“First, if you do not follow Asian American creators, follow them and add their faces and stories to your daily life. Second, don’t force Asian-American creators to exploit their cultural identity to be part of the conversation; include us in everything from mundane to serious conversations. Being highlighted in articles when our community is being attacked is great, but it shouldn’t take a tragedy to be recognized in mainstream culture. AAPI are a part of daily American life and culture!”
Chirasree Banerjee, founder of Travel Realizations
A travel and lifestyle blog celebrating travel experiences that evoke profound realizations through interaction with nature, culture, museums, and people.
“Being a lifelong traveler and travel blogger, I have first-hand experience of how travel can expand our mental horizons, making us more sensitive and empathetic to people, cultures, and lifestyles from all around the world. All of us are unique individuals but we share a common humanity that transcends our differences, including those of race and national borders. As someone who hails from the AAPI community, I am incredibly saddened by the spate of violence against Asian-Americans and cannot emphasize enough the need for more representation. As a concrete step, we in the creator community can hold ‘travel appreciation weeks’ based on themes that specifically target AAPI or other marginalized voices, showcasing blogs or articles written by creators from these communities. We can only celebrate our shared experiences when we as a community encourage each other to share our authenticity without fear or self-censorship!”
Carmen Ceremuga, founder of Drive Me Simply
A food blog that will take you on a delicious adventure exploring a variety of food that the whole family will enjoy.
“We need to highlight AAPI members in creative roles that reflect their success, contribution, and established roots in this country during current times and not just in parts that tell stories in history where we’re viewed as ‘enemies.’ Support your AAPI friends, neighbors, co-workers, business owners by having a conversation, asking them questions and learning about their background and stories. During a time where we all need to protect ourselves by covering up with masks and keeping our distance, your words of encouragement and support will mean even more.”
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Sushmita Malakar, founder of Sushmita Malakar
A blog with a holistic approach to relationships, mental well being, cocktails and daily life.
“All I ask for from the community is an equal opportunity and equal love. Every hustler, who works hard and knows the value of a creative life, is looking for an opportunity to get discovered. No one wants it out of sympathy. All they want is recognition for their passion and work.”
Fatima Mukhtar, founder of Modestly Speaking
A fashion blog that inspires women to be confident in dressing modestly.
“There is a real lack of authentic representation in the creator community. Instead of understanding what true representation and diversity means, brands resort to tokenism just to ensure they don’t get called out. There’s so much work to undo the harm of racism/xenophobia in our country, but it would help to have minorities be more visible on media platforms and have us in positions where decisions are made. Society still holds on to the stereotype of Asians as meek worker bees; it would be so refreshing to have an opportunity to speak to our passions and have them amplified by those outside the AAPI community.”
The SHE Media Partner Network helps content creators and entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses with dedicated support for managing ads, brand partnerships, and more. Apply now to join our mission-driven platform.