Dear Asian Youth, also known as DAY, is a youth founded-and-run organization. As the name suggests, the organization focuses on empowering Asian youth. DAY was founded by 16 year old Stephanie Hu, who originally started the program as a website to publish her poetry. The uniqueness and timing of the founding of DAY led to extreme popularity and quick growth. Since its founding in May of 2020, the organization has grown substantially and amassed almost 60k followers on Instagram (@dearasianyouth) alone.
The attractiveness of DAY comes from how inclusive and diverse the organization truly is. Dear Asian Youth addresses the lack of Asian representation in the media head on with the new implementation of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. The task force was created with the idea that “…we cannot be proponents of social justice, equity, and equality without championing those same ideals and values within our organization.” It is no secret that “Asian” representation in Western media has been heavily East and Southeast Asian, while also promoting harmful stereotypes. With a continent as vast as Asia, there comes different cultures and ideals even within regions and countries. DAY is working to include Asians from all over different parts of Asia, including Central, South, and West Asia, along with LGBTQ+ youth in the organization’s call for activism and Asian empowerment.
One of the integral parts of DAY’s activism is their instagram account. The timing of the foundation of DAY was instrumental in how quickly the organization was able to grow. May of 2020 was a month of racial tensions and a new spark in the Black Lives Matter movement. May was also a month that saw an exponential rise in hate crimes towards the Asian community, with harmful rhetoric and racist remarks coming from those in power addressing the Coronavirus pandemic. In response and in support of Black Lives Matter, Dear Asian Youth released their #BLM Toolkit (dearasianyouth.com/blm). This toolkit was created in collaboration with Students For Black Lives to help educate younger people trying to get into activism and guide them through different conversations pertaining to BLM.
Not only has Dear Asian Youth brought to light social justice issues relating to other races to light, but the organization has also brought attention to the news affecting Asians. Dear Asian Youth aims to be accessible and comprehensible to its audience, focused mainly on high school aged teens. Recent coverage by DAY has been on the fight for democracy in Myanmar as well as the new Biden administration’s executive order to combat xenophobia. DAY has also acted as a platform to promote media created by Asian writers, artists, and filmmakers, as well as the achievements being made by Asian Americans. As an organization, Dear Asian Youth has held an important place in providing representation and community for younger Asian Americans.