As Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) kicks off, Gold House continues to do the work in empowering the Asian and Pacific Islander (API). The nonprofit collective of API cultural leaders has unveiled its annual A100 list and introduced a suite of ventures on representation, economic, and individual empowerment as the API community has been the target of violent attacks and harassment.
The A100 list of the most impactful leaders in the Asian community helps bolster API representation in activism, business, politics, media, technology and, of course, entertainment.
Fresh off of her Oscar wins for her picturesque Americana masterpiece of wanderlust, Chloe Zhao is included on the list. Other Oscar winners and nominees from this year that made it on to the list included Judas and the Black Messiah musician H.E.R., Sound of Metal actor Riz Ahmed and Minari director Lee Isaac Chung.
Destin Daniel Cretton, director of Marvel’s first Asian-fronted superhero pic Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, also landed on the A100 include Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang, Shang-Chi star Simu Liu, Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan, Minari producer Christina Oh, The Half of It director Alice Wu and Be Water filmmaker Bao Nguyen.
Of course, the list wouldn’t complete without Vice President Kamala Harris, tennis champ Naomi Osaka and Peter Tsai — the man who created the N95 mask which has saved all of our lives in the past year.
Also representing Asian Hollywood on the A100 list are Ally Maki (Toy Story 4), Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Ronny Chieng (The Daily Show), Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef), Olivia Munn (The Newsroom), Ian Alexander (Star Trek: Discovery), Jeannie Mai (The Real), Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Never Have I Ever), Poorna Jagannathan (Never Have I Ever), Richa Moorjani (Never Have I Ever) as well as Bela Bajara, Head of Global TV, Netflix and Phillip Sun, co-founder, managing partner of M88.
The A100 List also highlights the most impactful Asians per category as “A1 Honorees”:
- Activism, Advocacy & Politics: Kamala Harris (Vice President of the United States)
- Business & Finance: Amrita Ahuja (Chief Financial Officer, Square)
- Entertainment: Chloé Zhao (Writer and Director)
- Lifestyle: Padma Lakshmi (Author, Host, and Executive Producer)
- Media & Journalism: #StopAsianHate-focused journalists including Benny Luo (Founder & CEO, NextShark), CeFaan Kim (Reporter, ABC7NY), Dion Lim (Anchor & Reporter, ABC7 KGO-TV), Kimmy Yam (Reporter, NBC Asian America), Weijia Jiang (Senior White House Correspondent, CBS News)
- Sports & Health: Naomi Osaka (Professional Tennis Player)
- Technology & Innovation: Eric S. Yuan (Founder & CEO, Zoom)
A100 Honorees are voted on by a panel including Tony award-winning actress-singer Lea Salonga, Mastercard Executive Chairman Ajay Banga, Panda Express Co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng, actor and producer Michael B. Jordan, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, and GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno, icon George Takei, journalist Lisa Ling, actress Michelle Yeoh, among others. The A100 List launches in tandem to support We Can Do This that provides accessible knowledge about COVID-19 vaccines as communities reopen. The full A100 list can be read here.
“Recognizing the achievements of the AAPI community couldn’t be more timely than right now. The tragic events of the recent past only serve to underscore the need to celebrate the many ways Asian Americans contribute to our country and the world,” says Daniel Dae Kim, A100 Judge.
For the first time ever, those who have been an A100 Honoree more than twice will be inducted into the “Hall fo Fame”, a continual tribute to their contributions. Awkwafina, BTS, Dwayne Johnson, Grace Meng, Michelle Lee, Prabal Gurung, Priyanka Chopra, and Steven Yeun are among those who will be inducted. Gold House will host several Future Town Halls with Facebook mid-May that explore women-led businesses, representation, and cross-cultural solidarity.
Gold House is also partnering with Amazon Music, IMDb, Pacific Bridge Arts Foundation (PBA) and Transparent Arts to present the 2021 installment of Identity Festival for APAHM. Streaming live on May 15 at 5pm PST on Amazon Music’s Twitch Channel, this year’s festival will feature performances and segments from transformational figures across the AANHPI community, including Dumbfoundead, Karen Fukuhara, James Reid, Yuna, Steve Aoki, among others. The event will also raise money to help aspiring API talent break into the music industry through PBA’s scholarship programs and the AAPI Community Fund, Gold House’s GoFundMe collaboration.
During the pandemic, Asian-owned businesses were the hardest hit and in an effort to strengthen and make Asian-owned businesses more visible, Gold House’s founder accelerator, Gold Rush, will debut its fourth signature sale dubbed “Asian Prime Day”. From May 17-31 people can support API-led small businesses at GoldRush.Market via exclusive products and discounts. The newest accelerator class will also engage in a new women’s programming track, courtesy of Endowed Chair, Julia Gouw (Chairwoman of Piermont Bank), to address Asian women being the least likely to be promoted to management, as well as an intimate founder-investor matchmaking showcase powered by BMW.
Gold House is also unveiling its Future Network, the next generation API collective, to create pathways for representation and success that allow top filmmakers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, and founders to rise: through career-making and company-defining job opportunities with major industry partners as well as world-class mentoring and skill-building. The collective will also collaborate with other multicultural communities for mutual co-elevation. Applications are open now at goldhouse.org/members with the first class and major partners announced later this year.
“There’s a discrepancy between how APIs are regarded publicly and the power the community has always wielded. We’ve always been here—leading, artifying, investing, and speaking up,” said Bing Chen, President of Gold House. “And as we continue forging allyship with other communities, we must also remember that we’re only as strong for others as we are, ourselves. On the shoulders of established leaders and activists who we celebrate today, it’s time to send the elevator down to invest in even more socioeconomic opportunities for our communities: from investing in the next generation of cultural leaders to We Can Do This’ vaccination education to local community investments via our GoFundMe collaboration and the Gold Futures Grant Challenge. When things get tough, we get tougher; we’re here—and we’re here to last.”
According to a study by the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Asians, Latinx and Black communities had the highest amount of attributable COVID-19 deaths. To help ensure community health that will lead to accelerated returns of normalcy, Gold House is supporting the aforementioned We Can Do This to raise awareness on COVID-19 vaccines through educational campaigns with API communities that have been historically omitted due to language barriers or lack of healthcare access.
In addition to its GoFundMe collaboration that’s raised more than $5.5 million for local grassroots organizations devoted to restorative justice and millions more directly to attack victims alongside more than 100 cultural leaders, Gold House is continuing its on-the-ground empowerment through a new annual Gold Futures Grants Challenge in collaboration with Asian American Futures, a nonprofit led by philanthropists and community leaders. The challenge will increase and democratize philanthropy by engaging the public in funding projects that help AAPIs be Seen, Heard, and Empowered. Organizations can apply now at www.goldfutureschallenge.org.
“Our hope in launching the Gold Futures Grants Challenge is to inspire philanthropic giving, volunteerism, and social innovation among younger generations of AAPI,” says Joanna Kong, AAF Board Co-Chair. “Through our website, the public will be able to learn about and get involved with local and national projects that will help create a better and brighter future for AAPIs.”