💫 Uncovering Community 💫

Indy Asian Fest and some history of Indiana's AANHPI communities

Hello there!

I hope last week (and the weekend) was everything you needed it to be. Sometimes they are; lots of times they aren’t. But we make due, right?

Shout out to everyone who has been here since day one. High fives and hellos to everyone joining for the very first time. Appreciate y’all! Last weekend, I attended Indy Asian Fest, one of (if not the) main Pan-Asian events that happens in the city during May.

I first attended this event last year, and I only knew a few people who were there. I was unfamiliar with the organizations, and I felt generally shy about approaching them. I knew I wanted to find and build community, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t bring myself to do so. I walked around, smiling and nodding and not really engaging with anyone other than the folks I knew. After an hour, I left.

A lot has changed in the past year.

For one, I am far more secure in who I am and what I want to do. A year ago, I had just entered into self-acceptance; it was unfamiliar territory and while it felt great, it didn’t immediately solve all my fears and imposter syndrome. Apparently, it doesn’t work like that 😭 

This year, I was a new person. Okay, I was the same person who had gotten more comfortable in his body and navigating predominantly Asian American spaces.

Also, coming off of Las Vegas and NYC, where I had attended very prominent Asian American events, had me really motivated to either uncover or create something similar here in the midwest. We might be flyover country, but Asian America exists here and is every bit as valid and important to the makeup of our diaspora as our coastal siblings.

I internalized that mindset as I walked into the historical society on the day of the event. My mission: to interact with as many of the organizations present as I could.

Over the next four hours, I did just that. And you know what? We’re really out here, and we really have been.

Did you know*:

  • As of 2022 Indiana’s AANHPI population was 219,637.

  • Indiana’s AANHPI diasporic community is represented by 45 different countries.

  • Indiana’s AANHPI population growth since 2010: 67%

And each of the organizations I engaged with had a history here; they didn’t just form yesterday. And while it saddens me to think we’ve been operating out of view for such a long time, I’m also excited.

I’m excited about the opportunities that lie ahead of us. I’m excited for our communities to start coming together more often, to celebrate more joy, to support each other more fully than ever before.

I’m excited to keep building. What does that look like?

Stay tuned 🌟


This week on Conversation Piece…

The APAHM Conversations continue with Rick Allen! Rick and Patrick discuss folks with certain identities left out of the conversation, how that affects us as Asian adoptees, and how we can get outside of the echo chamber and bring these conversations to other places.

Meet Rick
Rick is half Black, half Korean, adopted, a husband, a father, and learning more about himself as he goes.

Connect with Rick on Instagram.

Later this week…

The APAHM Conversations concludes with Sho Dewan! Sho and Patrick discuss how Asians and Asian Americans can advocate for themselves in their careers, the cultural context for understanding our self-worth when it comes to our professional lives, and recognizing our self-limiting beliefs.

Meet Sho
Sho Dewan is the lead Career Coach & founder of Workhap ,and has helped thousands get hired & paid in careers they love. He’s a LinkedIn Top Voice with his work featured on Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, and LinkedIn News. With 1M+ followers across social media, you can follow Sho on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Learn more about Workhap: www.workhap.com

💫 Cold Tea Collective 💫

Thanks again to our media partners,Cold Tea Collective, for helping amplify this series.

They’ve got a number of events they’re highlighting for the rest of APAHM — make sure you check them out!

Cold Tea Collective is a media outlet, sharing the stories of the next generation of the Asian diaspora. Their mission is to inspire the AAPI community through storytelling that will empower them to live their most authentic and fulfilled lives. To learn more, visit coldteacollective.com or visit them on Instagram @coldteacollective.

One more giveaway…

To close out of APAHM celebrations, I’m really excited to announce that we have partnered with 1587 Sneakers to give away a pair of shoes — and you’re the first to know!

Since the ‘80s, the Asian American community has heavily influenced sneaker culture. Old school icons like Bobby Hundreds, Jeff Staple, and Yu-Ming Wu helped build the foundation for what it is today, but following years and years of inequality, prejudice, and straight-up hate, we’re still heavily overshadowed by underrepresentation, not only at the street level, but on the corporate level as well.

With decades of experience working for some of the world’s biggest footwear brands under his belt, our founder, Adam King, has heard the same sentence over and over again: “We don’t need to pay attention to the Asian American community – they’re followers and are going to buy the products we market to other communities.”

- about 1587 Sneakers

In order to win, you must:

Be on the lookout for the announcement post going live at 12 pm ET / 9 am PT, and good luck!

Final thoughts

Community: i’s stuck in my head, it’s seared into my mission, it’s burned into my soul.

And I’m really thankful for the one we’re building here. Thank you to everyone who has engaged with THE APAHM CONVERSATIONS and the giveaways and shared these episodes and words and thoughts with others. It means so much to me to do this work and share it with you all, and it feels like we’re only at the beginning of a much longer, much more impactful journey.

I appreciate you all, and as we head for the home stretch of Asian Heritage Month, I hope y’all remember to carry these conversations forward. Let’s do that, together.

I hope this week is what you need it to be.


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