How to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month on Social Media This May (and Beyond)
Although it’s wonderful to have one month dedicated to the AAPI community, we should be celebrating their contributions (and those of other communities) year-round.
Here are three ways you can celebrate and amplify AAPI heritage on social media every month:
Follow and Learn From AAPI Accounts
Spotlight and Support AAPI Creators & Small Businesses
Pass the Mic Visually and Creatively
#1: Follow and Learn From AAPI Accounts
Following inspiring and creative AAPI entrepreneurs, authors, activists, artists, creators, designers, and businesses is the first step.
By diversifying your feed (with other BIPOC communities, too), you can educate yourself, reflect, and then support and uplift them via social media.
Here are 10 inspiring AAPI accounts to follow today:
Asian Founded — @asianfounded
This LA-based account highlights Asian-owned brands and businesses in creative ways. Every Wednesday, they do a round-up of business news from all over the world.
On Canada Project — @oncanadaproject
Founded by Samanta Krishnapillai, it was initially a passion project to speak to young Canadians about the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s since grown to become a self-described “social enterprise” for Millennials and Gen Z to learn about tough topics, using easy-to-understand language.
Golden — @netflixgolden
Last year, Netflix launched an exclusive Instagram (and Twitter) account dedicated to spotlighting the incredible talent, storytelling, and artistry by the Asian diaspora.
Product of Culture — @_productofculture_
Product of Culture is a collective that amplifies brands and creatives of the South Asian diaspora. Their social feed is full of news, lists, round-ups, and recommendations. They also produce the South Asian Film Festival of America.
Mikaele Oloa — @maugamu
Mikaele is a TikTok creator (and 5x World Fireknife Champion) who educates their audience on Samoan cultures and traditions — including traditional Samoan dance.
The RepresentASIAN Project — @RepresentASIANProject
A platform dedicated to celebrating, advocating, and elevating Asian representation and voices in media and beyond. Whether it’s sharing wins in the entertainment industry to offering mental health resources.
Melemaikalani Makalapua — @melemaikalanimakalapuaa
Content creator and Polynesian dancer Melemaikalani Makalapua shares content on the history of Hawai’i. An advocate for change, Melemaikalani educates on important issues, such as appropriation of Hawai’ian culture.
Kim Saira — @kimsaira
Kim Saira works to “empower you to honor your creative flow, cultural values, and step into your power.” She shares authentic and vulnerable insights in a creative way — creating a great resource for the community.
Hāwane Rios — @hawanemusic
Hāwane Rios is a singer and songwriter from Waimea, Hawai’i. On social media, Hāwane often reflects on the importance of Hawaiian traditions, and shares inspirational words based on their experiences.
Brown Girl Gang — @browngirlgang
Brown Girl Gang is an online space that aims to uplift and celebrate the South Asian community. Created by Sanjana Nagesh in 2017, the Instagram account has over 170K followers (and counting) and has been featured in outlets like Teen Vogue and BBC.
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#2: Spotlight and Support AAPI Creators and Small Businesses
There are so many AAPI creators, businesses, and platforms you can spotlight — the list is neverending.
You can create a round-up of local AAPI businesses and creators you’re either inspired by, have worked with, or bought from, and feature them in blog content, or tag them in your Reels or feed posts.
as AAPI month comes closer, this is your friendly annual reminder that South Asians & Southeast Asians & Pacific Islander authors + readers exist and should be included in your AAPI book lists, or else the list doesn’t encapsulate its demographic. please be inclusive 🙂
— Aparna Verma | preorder The Phoenix King (@Spirited_Gal) April 20, 2023
For example, if you’re into beauty, share your favorite AAPI-founded brands like @ghlee, @tatcha, @tower28, @livetinted, @honuaskincare, and @ao.organicshawaii.
By regularly spotlighting different accounts on your account, you’re creating a resource for your followers to share — and then for their followers to share.
This is the power of social media.
#3: Pass the Mic Visually and Creatively
Passing the mic can be as simple as letting those in the AAPI community host an Instagram Stories takeover or AMA (Ask Me Anything) session where they can share inspirational words and stories — in their own words.
But to take it a step further, it’s also important to make sure there is representation behind-the-scenes too.
If you plan to post quote graphics, who are the designers creating and/or illustrating them?
If you want to publish a blog post, a special guest newsletter, or a podcast episode, can you work with those in the AAPI community?
See how The Kit released a number of stories (including a cover feature) dedicated to celebrating Asian Canadians online, highlighting Asian-Canadian brands, and sharing first-person stories from editors and creators:
They also dedicated a photoshoot featuring three top Asian-Canadian makeup artists, who shared their experiences of growing up in Canada, and how they came to see their own beauty.