Supporting the AAPI Community
by Erin Fabio on Mar 23, 2021
We are heartbroken over the rise in hate crimes and the surge in discrimination against the AAPI community since the start of the pandemic. Here at OLIKA, we condemn all forms of racism and strive to bring awareness and support for those discriminated against.
Last week’s shooting highlights the brutality faced by those in the Asian American communities and - in the face of such violence, we need to take action.
One way to support the Asian American community is by supporting their small businesses. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite AAPI female-run brands for you below:
Lauren Jin set out to create Cle as an ode to the modern woman and was born out of a desire to create products that were not only modern in their technology, but in their intentions as well. Their team has since created a collection of skincare and makeup that is curated, sourced, and centered on the latest in Korean Beauty.
Founded by Deepica Mutyala in 2018, Live Tinted launched as a digital community focused on inclusive, diverse beauty. It has since launched a line of makeup designed specifically around the beauty concerns voiced in their digital community. As stated by Mutyala: “Beauty is our vehicle for connection. Our multicultural community offers a place to discuss all things beauty and culture, and have those discussions lead product development.”
When COVID began to spread in March 2020, Melinda Hwang adopted her family's powerful nanofiber membrane filter face mask that they had developed in Taiwan to protect themselves from the SARS epidemic in 2003. Hwang created Happy Masks to help bring this technology to other families.
Image via Happy Masks
Named after her parents’ native country of Taiwan, ILHA gives a nod to founder Michelle Hsu’s heritage. When Portuguese sailors came upon the island in the 1500s, they named it ‘Ilha Formosa,' which means “beautiful island.” These handcrafted, soy candles are hand-poured in small batches, using toxin free fragrances.
This LA based independent creative studio founded by Mimi Chao creates unique picture books and illustrated products meant for all ages. They are a team passionate about sharing stories that foster creativity and mindfulness. Plus, they donate at least 10% of all profits to community organizations that provide creative arts education to kids who otherwise would not receive one.
Tiffany Ju founded Chunks, a funky hair accessory shop, in the Spring of 2019 after having trouble finding a high quality hair clip. Her one-woman operation grew to a team of five women by 2021. Her designs are inspired by her passion for colors, culture and trends, nostalgic feelings and art.
Huppy, a sustainable, zero-waste oral care company, is on a mission to reinvent the wheel. Their toothpaste tabs are not only made with ethically-scoured, clean ingredients, but they are also biodegradable.
If you are looking for other ways to show your support, here are a few additional ways you can get involved:
Stop AAPI Hate
The Center for Stop AAPI Hate tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Asian Law Caucus
Asian Law Caucus is to promote, advance, and represent the legal and civil rights of Asian Pacific Islander communities
Asian Mental Health Collective
It is the mission of the Asian Mental Health Collective to normalize and de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community. For an extensive list of mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI community, visit Detox Local.
It's vital that we understand how racism has played out throughout history so we can move forward in more thoroughly addressing and eradicating this racism. Here are a few resources too help educate yourself on the issues facing the AAPI community:
“The Making of Asian America: A History"
“Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White”
"Asian American Stories in the Time of Coronavirus" YouTube docuseries
Call Your Local Leaders
Reach out to your congressman and ask what they are doing to ensure the safety of the Asian Community.
Most importantly: if you see something, say something! If you witness or are targeted in an anti-Asian hate crime, or if you have any further information about another ongoing investigation, report it immediately to your local police, then file a report with the FBI.
Featured Image via Kathryn Zaremba